Hugh Laurie to voice Terry Pratchett film The Amazing Maurice

Thursday 5th November 2020, 12:46pm

The Amazing Maurice.

Hugh Laurie will voice the central character in a new animated film based on Sir Terry Pratchett's book.

The Amazing Maurice, which is being made for Sky Cinema, is based on The Amazing Maurice And His Educated Rodents, a novel Pratchett published in 2001 as part of his Discworld series. It was the 28th novel in comedic fantasy collection, but the first written for children.

Aimed at families, The Amazing Maurice follows a streetwise ginger cat who has the perfect money-making scam. The producers explain: "He finds a kid who plays a pipe, and he also befriends his very own horde of strangely educated, talking rats - so Maurice can no longer think of them as 'lunch'. When Maurice and the rodents reach the stricken town of Bad Blintz, they meet a bookworm, Malicia. Their little con soon goes down the drain as something very bad is waiting for them in the cellars."

The producers add: "The Amazing Maurice is a lively and entertaining adventure inspired by the German fairy tale about the Pied Piper of Hamelin and a parody of the folk tale genre. Pratchett won the annual Carnegie Medal for the book - children's literature's highest award. Despite many other awards, honorary degrees and the knighthood that followed, Sir Terry Pratchett always emphasised that this was the award of which he was most proud."

Joining Laurie in the voice cast will be Game Of Thrones star Emilia Clarke as Malicia, Harry Potter actor David Thewlis as Boss Man, and Yesterday's Himesh Patel as Keith.

Gemma Arterton lends her voice to the character of Peaches, whilst W1A star Hugh Bonneville will play The Mayor.

With the film currently in production, for release in 2022, further casting announcements will follow.

Producer Andrew Baker comments: "I'm huge fan of Sir Terry Pratchett so I would not be embarking on this project unless I felt we were bringing the film to life in a way that honours the book and will please its numerous fans around the world. We have a great cast and great teams at the studios in Sheffield and Hamburg working to make this film special."

Producer Robert Chandler adds: "The trick with The Amazing Maurice is getting the balance right. Terry Pratchett is a brilliant author, who was not afraid to explore dark places and have fun getting there. That's the tone of our film."

Rob Wilkins from Narrativia, the production company that looks after Pratchett's rights, says: "Bringing Maurice's story to life was such a joy for Terry and I'm delighted that the teams at Sky, Ulysses Filmproduktion and Cantilever Media are honouring his vision with such reverence and respect.".

Sarah Wright from Sky comments: "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."

Sir Terry Pratchett died in 2015. The Amazing Maurice is not the only Discworld tale currently being adapted for the screen. The Watch, a series based on the police force in the Discworld novels, has been filmed and will debut next year.

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