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Things just keep getting better and better for the latest Aardman project Early Man. With Eddie Redmayne already signed up, the animators have just recruited Tom Hiddlestone to voice main villain Lord Nooth.

Set at the dawn of time, the story tells of caveman Dug (Redmayne) and his tribe’s attempt to take on the Bronze Age town of which Nooth is the tyrannical governor.

As we reported in May of last year, this will be the first time that studio chief Nick Park takes on the job of director. Asked about the casting of Hiddlestone, he said: “Tom is a wonderful actor and it’s so thrilling to see him bring our comic villain to life with his amazing talent, energy and enthusiasm. It is a great privilege to work with Tom and I’m so excited to see his character Lord Nooth appear on screen.”

Hiddlestone is equally enthused: “I’ve been a fan of Nick Park and Aardman for as long as I can remember, and am incredibly honoured to be working with Nick and the team on this adventure. I’m thrilled to be able to breathe some semblance of life into this hysterical villain and to work with Eddie for the first time. Early Man made me laugh out loud when I read it. Lord Nooth is larger than life in every respect. I can’t wait for audiences to meet him.”

Early Man will be the second collaboration between Aardman and Studiocanal after the runaway success of Shaun the Sheep Movie, which grossed $106m worldwide. With two of today’s hottest acting talents in Hiddlestone and Redmayne on board as well, Aardman’s midas touch looks certain to strike again.

Cameras are now rolling in the studio’s home of Bristol and more casting news is expected very soon. Early Man is scheduled for release in January 2018.

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