The voice cast also includes David Thewlis (“Wonder Woman”), Himesh Patel (“Yesterday”), Gemma Arterton (“Vita & Virginia”) and Hugh Bonneville (“Downton Abbey”). Toby Genkel (“Two by Two: Overboard!”) and Florian Westermann (“Little Dodo”) will co-direct.
The film will be an adaptation of bestselling author, the late Terry Pratchett’s 2001 book “The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents,” which is part of his iconic Discworld series. The book is a take on the popular folk tale about the Pied Piper of Hamelin. It won the Carnegie medal that recognizes the best children’s book in the U.K.
The story follows a streetwise ginger cat who has the perfect money-making scam. He finds a kid who plays a pipe, and also befriends his very own horde of talking rats. When they reach the stricken town of Bad Blintz, their con game goes awry.
The film is being produced by Sky, alongside Germany’s Ulysses Filmproduktion and Hamburg based animation outfit Studio Rakete, and the U.K.’s Cantilever Media, and Sheffield based animation company Red Star Animation. It is being made with the support of the Pratchett estate and is produced in association with Pratchett’s production company Narrativia.
Producers include Julia Stuart for Sky, Emely Christians for Ulysses, Andrew Baker and Robert Chandler for Cantilever Media and Rob Wilkins for Narrativia.
Telepool will distribute in German-speaking territories and their sales arm Global Screen is handling international sales.
The film will be released by Sky Cinema in the U.K. in 2022.
Sarah Wright, director of Sky cinema and acquisitions at Sky U.K. and Ireland, said: “ ‘The Amazing Maurice’ is a fantastic story from a legendary author, and I couldn’t think of a better tale to bring to life as an animated film for all the family. I’m excited to work with Ulysses Filmproduktion and Cantilever Media to bring this exclusive new movie to Sky Cinema audiences in 2022.”
Pratchett, who died in 2015, wrote 41 novels as part of the Discworld series. His books have sold some 90 million copies in 37 languages globally. He was knighted in 2009 and received the World Fantasy Award for lifetime achievement in 2010.