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Cannes: Nick Frost to Play Captain Pugwash in Live-Action Adaptation

The Hollywood Reporter logo The Hollywood Reporter 19/05/2017 Alex Ritman
Nick Frost and Captain Pugwash © Getting Images/Rex/Shutterstock Nick Frost and Captain Pugwash

Nick Frost is to take the lead in an upcoming live-action big-screen adaptation of the much-loved British children's cartoon Captain Pugwash.

The Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz star will play the infamous, bumbling and cowardly pirate Captain Pugwash in the new project, Pugwash, being introduced to buyers in Cannes by Carnaby International.

Fellow Brit star Jason Flemyng (X-Men First Class, Snatch) will also be boarding Pugwash's ship The Black Pig, with other major casting announcements expected soon.

"Besides Winston Churchill and Henry VIII, Captain Horatio Pugwash seems like a role I was born to play," said Frost, a recent addition to AMC's Into the Badlands. "I cannot wait to get going."

Created originally as a series of children's comic strips and books by late British cartoonist John Ryan, Captain Pugwash was adapted into a TV series that was first shown on the BBC in 1957 in live-action using cardboard cut-outs and later as a traditional animated series.

The new big-screen outing will be set in the Golden Age of piracy, with the story seeing the lily-livered con-artist Pugwash put on a ship to Botany Bay. But when he escapes, he finds himself at the helm of the Black Pig on a mission to rescue Cabin Boy Tom's father, who has been marooned on a volcanic island with a hoard of treasure protected by an army of angry ghosts. Just to make things more complicated, Pugwash soon finds he has the infamous pirate Cut-Throat Jake on his tail. 

Pugwash is being written and directed by two-time Emmy and Berlin Bear winner John Hay (Stig of the Dump, Lost Christmas). Elliot Jenkins and Justin Johnson produce for Atticus Pictures, alongside Andrew Loveday and Sean O'Kelly for Carnaby International and Jiang Jun for Costar Culture & Media.

Chinese banner Costar is co-financing the project alongside Carnaby.

"Today's audiences are going to love our funny, fresh, indie take on Pugwash," said Johnson. "It will be as if Peter Cook had run into Blackadder at a party, had a few too many rums and set off on a mad voyage together. In fact a lot of the time we think it will be adults who will be dragging their kids along to see what we've made of their childhood hero."

Added Jenkins: "Nick just has funny bones and he's perfect to bring our pompous, cowardly, pugnacious, fun-loving hero to life. What's more I know he wants to give the role a really fresh, modern spin."

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