British comedian and actor Matt Lucas will voice the lead role in “Molesworth,” an animated film adaptation of the best-selling series of boarding school books written by Geoffrey Willans and illustrated by Ronald Searle.
Lupus Films and Melusine Productions, the producers behind the acclaimed animated feature “Ethel & Ernest,” will team up with Uli Meyer Studios to produce the 2D, hand-drawn feature, based on “The Compleet Molesworth” series. The film will be pitched next month at Cartoon Movie, Europe’s leading animated movie co-production forum, which takes place in Bordeaux, France.
Lucas (“Little Britain,” “Bridesmaids,” “Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland”) will voice the role of Nigel Molesworth, a self-confident, tousle-haired public school boy with a mischievous nature and a penchant for power. The character was first drawn by Ronald Searle for his Punch magazine comic strip and later developed into a series of books, first published in 1953.
Commenting on his role as the less than scholarly school boy, Lucas said: “I is frilled to be hassosiated wiv such a professeshanul-looking cartoon pleas can i hav my munny now pleas?”
“Molesworth” will be produced by Camilla Deakin, Ruth Fielding and Stéphan Roelants and directed by Uli Meyer. The story is by Meyer with a screenplay by Giles New and Keiron Self.
“The ‘Molesworth’ series is a wonderful depiction of 1950s prep school life full of brilliantly drawn characters and dark humor,” said Camilla Deakin, producer and founder of Lupus Films. “We are delighted to present this hilarious adventure romp in the tradition of classic 1950s comedies, but brought right up to date for today’s family audiences, for a whole new generation to discover.”
Meyer added: “Ronald Searle was one of the most influential graphic artists of the 20th century, and I’m deeply honored that before he died, he entrusted me with one of his most memorable creations. This film will bring his unique and unmistakable illustrative style to life, as only 2D animation can.”
Melusine’s Roelants said: “Being part of the ‘Molesworth’ production team is an opportunity we’ve been waiting for. Ronald Searle’s talent is an inspiration and a richness that our artists are eager to showcase under the guidance of the talented Uli Meyer. Working with our friends at Lupus Films is, as always, a wonderful opportunity to deliver a funny and intelligent film with a remarkable artistic quality.”