Aardman takes to Sailing the Seas of Cheese with The Pirates! The Band of Misfits’. What could Possibly go wrong?

Aardman Big Cheese and veteran director/ producer Peter Lord helms Aardman Animation’s latest stop-motion exploit into high seas hilarity- and it’s in stereoscopic 3D, no less! Arrhh, indeed!

Joining him in the breech is none other than Hugh Grant, adding vox to the Pirate Captain. Antagonists include Jeremy Piven as Black Bellamy, and Salma Hayak as Cutlass Liz. Brendan Gleeson has a part to play in there, shiverin’ the timbers. Here’s more from Aardman Animation and Sony Animation;

The bearded Pirate Captain (voiced by Hugh Grant)– 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) 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 Pirates! Band of Misfits, Aardman‘s most ambitious stop-motion film to date, will be created with the same beautiful hand-crafted technique that the company brought to the Academy Award-winning film Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Chicken Run. The film is directed by Peter Lord, a founding partner of Aardman, director of Chicken Run (with Nick Park), and a two-time Academy Award® nominee for his short films at the company. The film is co-directed by Jeff Newitt. The screenplay is by Gideon Defoe, based upon his books. Production Designer is Norman Garwood. Producers are Peter Lord, David Sproxton, and Julie Lockhart. Executive Producer is Carla Shelley.

Commenting on the announcement Lord said, “I‘m so grateful to the entire cast for their talent and energy. The characters that they‘ve created fill the screen with life and fun. As the Pirate Captain, Hugh Grant has given a stand-out performance – he combines an effortless on-screen warmth with brilliant comic timing. And as the leader of our motley pirate crew, he shows a real barnstorming, swashbuckling side of his character as well. Only Hugh could anchor this story of love, loyalty, greed, and nautical high-jinks.”

Pack yer cannons, swab the decks, and hold yer breath…The Pirates! is slated for  a North American release March 30, 2012.

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