Hugh Grant Joins Voice Cast for Sony-Backed Pirate Movie

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Salma Hayek and David Tennant also lend voices to Aardman Animations production.

LONDON – Hugh Grant has unsheathed his verbal cutlass, joining an all star voice cast for The Pirates! In An Adventure with Scientists, a stop-motion 3D animated film produced by Aardman Animations for Sony Pictures Animation.

Grant will lend his dulcit tones to the movie alongside David Tennant, Imelda Staunton, Jeremy Piven, Salma Hayek, Brian Blessed, Brendan Gleeson, and Ashley Jensen.

The movie will be distributed by Columbia Pictures and scheduled for release in March next year here. While it will carry the moniker The Pirates! Band of Misfits! in the U.S., it will be known as The Pirates! In An Adventure with Scientists in the U.K.

Grant, starring in his first animated role, will voice the luxuriantly bearded Pirate Captain – a boundlessly enthusiastic, if somewhat less-than-successful, terror of the High Seas. His rag-tag crew includes Martin Freeman, Brendan Gleeson, Russell Tovey and Ashley Jensen in his quest to become pirate of the year ahead of arch rivals Black Bellamy (Piven) and Cutlass Liz (Hayek).

Set in Victorian London, the movie also sees them do battle with the pirate-hating Queen Victoria (Staunton) and team up with a young Charles Darwin (Tennant), in the script.

The stop-motion picture from the Oscar-winning Aardman production stable is directed by Peter Lord and co-directed by Jeff Newitt. The screenplay is by Gideon Defoe, based upon his books.

Lord said: “I'm so grateful to the entire cast for their talent and energy. Only Hugh could anchor this story of love, loyalty, greed, and nautical high-jinks.”

Sony Pictures Animation is also in production with Aardman Animations on the CG-animated family comedy Arthur Christmas (3D).