Monday, 1 August 2011

The Pirates! in an Adventure with Aardman

So, hands up who has actually read ‘The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists’? (Yes, that exclamation mark is in the correct place). A couple of goofs at the back and… and… is that all? The rest of you have not happened upon this piece of literary comic-genius whilst browsing the shelves of Waterstones? Have you all been opting for the latest historical fiction bobbins from Philippa Gregory instead? You poor deluded fools! For you really are missing out on the antics of the irrepressible, yet perpetually clueless Pirate Captain and his unconventional crew of nameless wonders, as they deliver the pre-requisite adventure, roaring, shanties and grizzly running through alongside fantastically placed anachronisms and general silliness. It's the Monty Python of the high seas; stupendously daft, yet knowing and insightful. Where else are you going to get a lofty discussion on the best way to cook a ham to ensure the meat reduction is minimal that ends in a punch-up?

The good news, therefore, is those of you with bookphobia will soon be able to catch The Pirates! adventure’s on a big screen sometime around May 2012. The even better news is rather than make it a live-action movie (which I don't think would have worked - look at Carry on Columbus for feck's sake) the decision has been made to make it an animated adventure. And perhaps the best news ever, those plasticine moulding, stop animation geniuses at Aardman Animations (Wallace & Gromit) are the ones in charge of delivering a plasticine shaped Pirate Captain to the big screen. And the creator of Morph is directing! I think I just let out a little bit of wee...

Okay, so the plot isn’t a straight-forward conversion of the Scientists book and seems more like an amalgamation of various aspects of the four title’s already written by Gideon Defoe (the Pirate of the Year competition opens The Pirates! adventure with Napoleon and Cutlass Liz only makes her first appearance in their Adventure with Whaling). So it will be interesting to see what they do with the story machinations, particularly the inclusion of Queen Vic (who hasn’t appeared in an adventure as yet). Likewise, Hugh Grant as the Pirate Captain? Now you know why a live action version would have sucked. Yet going by the voice casting indicated by IMDB it all looks fairly positive. Anything with Jeremy Piven included is a bonus; Salma Hayek will likely produce the sassiness required for Cutlass Liz; and with Martin Freeman and Russell Povey looking like they’ll play a couple of members of the pirate crew (please, please, please let Povey be the albino pirate) all seems well and good. And to top it off, booming voiced birdman Brian Blessed is playing the Pirate King! Yay, this meeting between two fine British institutions cannot fail to be awesome.

Anyway, why take my word for it. The first trailer has been released with a roaring shanty over-laying the action and I really can’t wait for May next year now. Take a peek for yourselves…

Joy! The only thing that could better this news is if any mention of the fifth book is due to be released. A quick scan of Gideon Defoe’s ‘Pirate Captain’ blog reveals… that the next book is likely to be published at the beginning of 2012. This is indeed a happy news day!

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