Terry Pratchett‘s Discworld is suddenly big business.
Variety reports Hugh Laurie and Emilia Clarke have joined the voice cast of The Amazing Maurice. The animated film, which will also feature the voices of David Thewlis, Himesh Patel, Gemma Arterton, and Hugh Bonneville, is an adaptation of Pratchett’s 2001 novel The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents. It tells the tale of street cat who enlists the help of a boy flutist and some talking mice to pull off a Pied Piper scam across the various towns of Discworld. But when they reach Bad Blintz, things go poorly.
Toby Genkel and Florian Westermann will direct the film.
The project is endorsed by Pratchett estate and the late author’s production company, Narrativia, is involved alongside Sky, Ulysses Filmproduktion, Studio Rakete, Cantilever Media, and Red Star Animation. That distinction is important as the other upcoming Discworld adaptation, BBC America’s The Watch, was made without the blessing or input of Pratchett’s heirs. It has led to a surprising row online whenever BBCA retweets the trailer it released in early October. Issues of authenticity come up constantly and it will be interesting to judge that in comparison to a Discworld project with the support of Pratchett’s heirs.
It will also be interesting to see how The Watch works out without the support these sorts of fantasy projects need to be successful.
The Amazing Maurice will be released in the UK sometime in 2022.