Noel Clarke, Tim Curry add voices to toonpic
LONDON — Brit thesps Martin Freeman, Noel Clarke and Tim Curry will lend their voices to U.K. toonpic “Saving Santa,” which is set to begin production on Friday.Pic is the first toon from Gateway Films, the shingle behind local pics “Anuvahood,” “Shank” and “Sket.” Joan Collins, Pam Ferris (“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”), Craig Fairbass (“Call of Duty”) and Chris Barrie (“Tomb Raider”) will also voice characters in the £5 million ($7.8 million) pic. Story follows a clumsy elf who must save Santa’s Kingdom after its location is discovered by an evil character. Leon Joosen, whose animation credits include “The Little Mermaid” and “Aliens in the Attic,” will helm the pic, penned by Ricky Roxburgh (“The Wild Bunch”). Gateway’s Terry Stone and Nick Simunek will produce alongside Tony Nottage, while Max Howard is exec producer. “We’ve always wanted to have an animation studio under Gateway,” Stone told Daily Variety. adding Gateway aimed to add one or two toons a year to its feature output. The company is in negotiations with a studio for world rights. It is also in production on $3.1 million “Get Lucky,” toplining Luke Treadaway, T.J. Ramini, Emily Atack and James Cosmo, which Universal is distributing in Blighty and Oz.