Tom Hiddleston Joins Aardman's 'Early Man' (Exclusive)

tom hiddleston-Getty-H 2016
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The star joins Eddie Redmayne in Oscar-winner Nick Park's first animated feature in more than 10 years.

Nick Park's long-awaited next animated film with Aardman has added the voice of yet another British A-lister.

Tom Hiddleston has now joined the cast of the prehistoric comedy adventure Early Man, accompanying Eddie Redmayne, who was announced in May.

In an announcement made Thursday by StudioCanal and Aardman, The Night Manager star is set to voice the "ridiculously pompous" Lord Nooth, governor of the Bronze Age town, who is a money-loving tyrant and rival to the film’s Stone Age hero, Dug (Redmayne)

"Tom is a wonderful actor and it’s so thrilling to see him bring our comic villain to life with his amazing talent, energy and enthusiasm," said Park, who returns to the director's chair for the first time since his Oscar-winning 2005 hit Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. "It is a great privilege to work with Tom and I’m so excited to see his character Lord Nooth emerge on screen!”

Set at the dawn of time, when prehistoric creatures and woolly mammoths roamed the earth, Early Man tells the story of Dug, along with sidekick Hognob, who unites his tribe against the mighty Bronze Age in a battle to beat them at their own game.

“I have been a fan of Nick Park and Aardman for as long as I can remember, and am incredibly honored to be working with Nick and the team on this adventure," said Hiddleston. "I’m thrilled to be able to breathe some semblance of life into this hysterical villain and to work with Eddie for the first time. Early Man made me laugh out loud when I read it. Lord Nooth is larger than life in every respect. I can’t wait for audiences to meet him."

StudioCanal is fully financing the project, which is now shooting in Bristol, and will be distributing in its own territories of the U.K., France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand when it lands in 2018. The film also will be heading to AFM, where StudioCanal is looking for a U.S. distributor.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Aardman's Peter Lord and David Sproxton said that the world that Park had created for Early Man would lend itself to a sequel.