Actor Hugh Grant will be the lead voice in Aardman Animation’s upcoming feature The Pirates! Band of Misfits for Sony Animation. The British actor will voice the bearded Pirate Captain who travels far and wide in a quest to win the coveted Pirate of the Year Award.
Pirates is directed by Aardman founder Peter Lord, who also directed Chicken Run with Nick Park and co-directed by Jeff Newittt. The voice cast also includes Martin Freeman, Salma Hayek, David Tennant, Imelda Staunton, Jeremy Piven, Brendan Gleeson, Brian Blessed and Ashley Jensen. The script is by Gideon Defoe, the original writer of the Pirates books.
Here is how the press release describes the story: “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 movie is slated to open on March 30, 2012.