Voice cast and concept art released for upcoming futuristic, cyberpunk animated feature, helmed by Cinzia Angelini and Maurizio Parimbelli, from a script by Pulitzer Prize-winning ‘Bloom County’ cartoonist Berkeley Breathed.
Aniventure today has shared the voice cast for its new animated feature, Hitpig. Peter Dinklage, the Golden Globe and four-time Primetime Emmy winner from Game of Thrones, and Lilly Singh, host of NBC’s late-night series, A Little Late with Lilly Singh, have been cast in the roles of Hitpig and Pickles. Rainn Wilson, best known for his role as Dwight Schrute on the NBC sitcom, The Office, for which he earned three consecutive Emmy Award nominations, will voice the villain. Other cast members include RuPaul, producer and host of the reality competition series, RuPaul's Drag Race, for which he has received eight Primetime Emmy Awards; Hannah Gadsby, the Australian comedian and writer who won an Emmy for her stand up show, Nanette, and was nominated for her most recent special, Douglas; and Dany Boon, the French comedian, actor and director who scored a 2018 César award for his comedy action film Raid: Special Unit.
Directed by Cinzia Angelini (Mila, Minions) and Maurizio Parimbelli (Peter Rabbit) and produced by Adam Nagle (Riverdance: The Animated Adventure) and Dave Rosenbaum (Secret Life of Pets), the film is currently in production at Cinesite, scheduled to deliver in early 2022.
The studio also unveiled today some of Berkeley Breathed’s concept art. Breathed, who co-wrote the screenplay and is also serving as character designer for the film, is an American cartoonist, children's book creator, director, and screenwriter, best known for creating the classic “Bloom County,” a 1980s comic strip featuring Opus the Penguin. At the height of its popularity, “Bloom County” was followed by more than 40 million readers in 1,200 newspapers.
Set in a futuristic cyberpunk world, the film stars Hitpig (Dinklage) as a grizzled porcine bounty hunter who accepts his next hit: Pickles (Singh), a naive, ebullient elephant who has escaped the clutches of an evil trillionaire. Though Hitpig initially sets out to capture the perky pachyderm, the unlikely pair find themselves on an unexpected adventure criss-crossing the globe that brings out the best in both of them.
According to the directors, they’ve assembled a dream voice cast to help bring key characters to life. “Peter will bring equal parts a huge heart and fantastic humor to his character,” said Angelini. “There is no one funnier than Lilly,” Parimbelli added, “but she’ll also bring a warmth and loving side to Pickles.”
The characters Hitpig and Pickles are rooted in Berkeley’s New York Times bestselling picture book, “Pete & Pickles.” According to Breathed, “When Peter and Lilly agreed to voice our lead characters, it was one of those deliciously rare voilå moments for a writer and artist when the final perfect ingredients are added to one’s cooked-up soufflé of imagination. They’ll bring heartfelt, hilarious performances to our lead characters and deliver the message and theme I had intended when I conceived the story, the hope that unexpected connection can deliver in our disconnected lives. I’m in humbled awe of our entire crew and the endless reserves of ingenuity that they’re bringing to this movie.”
Hitpig is one of three previously announced feature films in the Aniventure slate. The London based animation production studio is in production on Riverdance: The Animated Adventure (produced by Aniventure and River Productions) based on the stage show phenomenon of the same name, and Blazing Samurai (Aniventure and Blazing Productions), based on Mel Brooks’ classic Blazing Saddles and directed by Mark Koetsier (The Grinch) and overseen and produced by Rob Minkoff (The Lion King). Riverdance: The Animated Adventure, Blazing Samurai and Hitpig will be delivered in 2020, 2021 and 2022, respectively.