Eastbourne producer set to release Sky Original animation film starring Emilia Clarke, Hugh Laurie, and David Tennant
The Amazing Maurice is based on The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents by Sir Terry Pratchett. Eastbourne-based Andrew Baker is one of the producers that has spent years bringing this story to the big screen. Hugh Laurie leads the cast as Maurice, which also includes Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) as Malicia, Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey) as The Mayor, David Tennant (Doctor Who) as Dangerous Beans, Rob Brydon (Roald & Beatrix: The Tale of the Curious Mouse) as The Pied Piper, and Joe Sugg (YouTube star) as Sardines.
Maurice is a streetwise tom cat who comes up with a way to make money by befriending a group of talking rats. When Maurice and the rodents arrive in Bad Blintz and meet a bookworm called Malicia, their scheme goes down the drain.
Andrew started off in law but said he’s always been a fan of animation so when he sold his legal practice 10 years ago, he decided to turn creative. The Amazing Maurice is his first animation feature film.
He said: “I’m a huge fan of Terry Pratchett so when I got the chance to work on this, I lept at it. A production company in Germany reached out to me so we’ve developed this film together. Very few independent animated films are made in the UK because it’s so expensive, most of our work is for American films.
“It’s been seven years in the making with Covid in between. We were in the midst of closing paperwork when conversations around lockdowns started. Nobody has ever done animation remotely. This was all done by people in their homes.”
Andrew said when creating animation, actors usually record together so they can bounce off each other but Covid meant everyone had to come in individually to record their parts. To this date the stars have never met! He said: “It was very challenging to make, but everyone was really committed to it and it’s fantastic to see it finished. It’s been a work of love for everyone involved.”
Terry Rossio is the screenwriter and his back catalogue includes Shrek and Pirates of the Caribbean.
On December 7 the team found out that the film has been added to the Sundance Film Festival lineup - 16,000 films are submitted but only a few hundred are selected. Andrew said: “This is a huge huge deal for us. We are really honoured.”
Despite seeing the film over and over again through the production process, Andrew said watching it with an audience has been ‘marvellous’. He said: “Last Sunday (December 4) we held a screening in London and it was the first time I’ve seen it with an audience. It was fantastic to see the reactions from kids and parents enjoying it.”
The Amazing Maurice will be released on Sky Cinema and as a theatrical release in cinema’s around the UK and worldwide on December 16. The film will also be available on streaming service NOW via the Sky Cinema Membership.
Currently, the closest cinema expected to show the film is Lewes Depot. Find out which cinemas are showing The Amazing Maurice here.