HUGH GRANT TAKES THE LEAD IN “THE PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS” AN AARDMAN PRODUCTION FOR SONY PICTURES ANIMATION

Martin Freeman, David Tennant, Imelda Staunton, Jeremy Piven, Salma Hayek, Brian Blessed, Brendan Gleeson, Russell Tovey, and Ashley Jensen Also On Board

CULVER CITY, Calif., May 5, 2011 – Hugh Grant will voice the lead role alongside an all-star cast in The Pirates! Band of Misfits, the new stop-motion, 3D, animated film produced by Aardman Animations for Sony Pictures Animation. The film, which will be distributed by Columbia Pictures, will be released March 30, 2012 in North America.

Hugh Grant, starring in his first animated role, is the luxuriantly bearded Pirate Captain – a boundlessly enthusiastic, if somewhat less-than-successful, terror of the High Seas.  With a rag-tag crew at his side (Martin Freeman, Brendan Gleeson, Russell Tovey, and Ashley Jensen), and seemingly blind to the impossible odds stacked against him, the Captain has one dream: to beat his bitter rivals Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) and Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek) to the much coveted Pirate Of The Year Award.  It’s a quest that takes our heroes from the shores of exotic Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London.  Along the way they battle a diabolical queen (Imelda Staunton) and team up with a haplessly smitten young scientist (David Tennant), but never lose sight of what a pirate loves best: adventure!

The Pirates! Band of Misfits, Aardman’s most ambitious stop-motion film to date, will be created with the same beautiful hand-crafted technique that the company brought to the Academy Award®-winning film Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Chicken Run.  The film is directed by Peter Lord, a founding partner of Aardman, director of Chicken Run (with Nick Park), and a two-time Academy Award® nominee for his short films at the company. The film is co-directed by Jeff Newitt. The screenplay is by Gideon Defoe, based upon his books.  Production Designer is Norman Garwood. Producers are Peter Lord, David Sproxton, and Julie Lockhart. Executive Producer is Carla Shelley.

the grass is greener on the welded side

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