First Official Image From Aardman's Pirates! And More Details

Finally, a good look at a character from Aardman Animation's next stop motion picture, The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists. Here he is:

That's the Pirate Captain, as voiced by Hugh Grant. The picture should apparently be captioned "Sweet Neptune's Briny Pants" – I kid you not. A catchphrase, of course.

You can see some of the supporting characters in the background, perhaps just a little better if you click through to make the image bigger.

But who will be voicing these supporting characters? Well, also in the cast will be:

Martin Freeman, David Tennant, Russell Tovey, Imelda Staunton, Jeremy Piven, Salma Hayek, Brian Blessed, Brendan Gleeson, and Ashley Jensen.

A nice line up. As to what they'll be getting up to, there's also this official plot blurb:

Hugh Grant, starring in his first animated role, is the luxuriantly bearded Pirate Captain – 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), and seemingly blind to the impossible odds stacked against him, the Captain 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 do battle with the pirate-hating Queen Victoria (Imelda Staunton) and team up with a young Charles Darwin (David Tennant), but never lose sight of what a pirate loves best: adventure!

Gideon Defoe has helped Aardman in adapting his book into this feature film. Should it be a hit, he's got a few more Pirates novels they can move on to afterwards – adventures with Whaling, with Communists and with Napoleon.

Yep, it's true – if this film is a smash, we can look forward to a kids film subtitled Adventures With Communists. Possibly. Maybe.

Just to stop me getting to carried away with myself, here's a few final words from the same press release:

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists, 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.