Philip Seymour Hoffman joins 'Mary and Max'

Heading voice cast of Australian claymation feature

LONDON -- Philip Seymour Hoffman has joined the voice cast of Aussie claymation project "Mary and Max," taking the lead role of Max, the film's backers said Wednesday.

The feature debut from the Oscar-winning duo of writer-director Adam Elliot and producer Melanie Coombs stars Toni Collette as Mary. Elliot and Coombs won the 2003 short-film Oscar for "Harvie Krumpet."

The film is narrated by Australian legend Barry Humphries and features cameos from Eric Bana, singer Renee Geyer and local music icon Ian "Molly" Meldrum along with Julie Forsyth and John Flaus.

Icon Film Distribution CEO Mark Gooder described the addition of Hoffman as "the icing on the cake."

The movie details the story of pen pals -- one living in Australia, the other in the U.S. -- whose friendship grows over 20 years.

The project is being financed by Screen Australia, Adirondack Pictures and Film Victoria and sold internationally by Icon Entertainment International.