Academy Award-winning actor Eddie Redmayne (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) has been announced to voice a central character in Early Man, a new stop-motion prehistoric animation film directed by four-time Academy Award winner Nick Park (Wallace and Grommit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit). Aardman Animation and StudioCanal – which had previously teamed to make the Oscar-nominated animated feature Shaun the Sheep Movie – made the announcement Monday at Cannes; Redmayne is the first voiceactor on the film to be revealed.
Written by Mark Burton (Shaun the Sheep Movie) and John O’Farrell (May Contain Nuts), the comedy adventure centers on a caveman named Dug (Redmayne) and his pet wild boar Hognob. Together, they attempt to save Dug’s community against destruction. Along the way, they discover the game of soccer. The film is set at the dawn of time, when woolly mammoths and dinosaurs still roamed the earth.
“Not only is Eddie a joy to work with, his versatility and boundless energy have really helped to bring my new character to life,” said Park. “He embodies the cheeky charm, fun and plucky wit of Dug, and I’m sure he’ll get along brilliantly with Dug’s sidekick Hobnob.”
Redmayne, who won the Best Actor Oscar last year for his role as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything – and followed that up with a Best Actor Oscar nomination for The Danish Girl this year – has just wrapped up filming the much-anticipated Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which opens November 18th.
StudioCanal is co-financing Early Man and will distribute it in its own territories, the U.K., France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand, selling worldwide. The British Film Institute is also partnering.