Canadian actor Donald Sutherland (Hunger Games, Hunger Games: Catching Fire) is stepping on board the animated coming of age film, Pirates Passage, which is being adapted from William Gilkerson’s novel of the same name.
Pirates Passage won the 2006 Canadian Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Literature and the New York Library Association Book of the Season Award, though as Gilkerson puts it, “I didn’t write it for children, just in such a way that children could read it; I meant it for all ages.”
Gilkerson is a pirate history authority as well as one of the foremost maritime line drawing artists of our time. Pirates Passage may be geared toward young adults but there is plenty of Western Piracy lore woven into the story. According to Deadline, the animation will be in the vein of Gilkerson’s drawings rather than the bright color saturated imagery of most CGI films.
The setting is Nova Scotia in the 1950’s where a young boy, Jim, and his mom cope with the death of his dad while running the town inn and dealing with the father and son bullies scheming to make the inn their own. All that begins to change when a terrible storm forces Captain Charles Johnson (Sutherland) to dock his ship and spend time at the Inn, striking up a humorous and suspenseful friendship with Jim and his mother as he tells tales of ‘The Brotherhood of the Sea’.
Brad Peyton (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island) will co-direct with Mike Barth and co-write the script with Donald Sutherland. Carrie-Anne Moss (Mad Men), Colm Feore (Thor, Chronicles of Riddick), Gage Munroe (Immortals), Megan Follows (Anne of Green Gables) and Terry Haig (Final Verdict) round out the voice actors.
Tandem Communications, Eric Birnberg, and Thomas Walden will produce along with Sutherland’s own production company, Martin’s River Ink.