Sony and Aardman Animation have teamed for a new 3D stop-motion animated film, called The Pirates! Band of Misfits, based in part on Gideon Defoe‘s book The Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists. (Which is also the film’s title in the UK, I believe.) That isn’t news, but the first still, above, and the announcement of the full cast definitely is.

Aardman co-founder and Chicken Run co-director Peter Lord is directing the film, which is animated in the now-classic Aardman clay figure style, and he’s got Hugh Grant making his clay debut as the chap you see above. There are a bunch of other great names on hand to provide voices as well, and you can get the full list after the break. Read More »

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Two years ago, Emma Thompson and husband Greg Wise announced that they had penned a script about Victorian art critic, social thinker and poet John Ruskin, who had a strange and ultimately disastrous marriage to a woman named Effie Gray. The marriage was never consummated (she claimed impotency; he, ahem, demonstrated his virility in court) and after it was annulled she married his protege and bore many children. Due to his stature in Victorian society and beyond, the love triangle became a memorable historical footnote, and thus the subject of the script, Effie.

The film had Carey Mulligan attached as recently as this past summer, with Emma Thompson and Greg Wise both slated for roles. Now there’s a report that puts the title role in the lap of Saoirse Ronan, instead. Read More »

Arthur Christmas Voice Cast: Hugh Laurie, James McAvoy and Jim Broadbent

The last time we checked in on Arthur Christmas, the planned 3D CG holiday film from Aardman Animation, we had only a single promo image to offer up. Now there’s a lot more detail, including a full plot description, clarification on the behind the scenes talent, and a voice cast that includes James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie and Jim Broadbent. Read More »

Mike Leigh Now Filming His Top Secret 2009 Project

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Wednesday 26th August 2009 marked the first day of photography on Mike Leigh‘s latest picture. Taking roles include Michele Austin, David Bradley, Jim Broadbent, Phil Davis, Karina Fernandez, Oliver Maltman, Lesley Manville, Stuart McQuarrie, Martin Savage, Ruth Sheen, Imelda Staunton and Peter Wight and cinematographer Dick Pope is back again too. Of course, this being a Mike Leigh picture we don’t know which of those actors might be in a lead role or which of them could just pop up for a second in a single scene, we don’t know anything at all about the plot, and we definitely don’t have a title. Better than that even, none of the people making the film know any of this for sure either, including Leigh himself.

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Warner Bros has released a new photo depicting Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter and Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Click on the photo for a bigger view. Order hits theaters on July 13th 2007.

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