James McAvoy cast in Aardman Animations 3D flick

James McAvoy

James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie and Jim Broadbent have all signed on to lend their larynxes to Aardman Animation’s 3D CG flick Arthur Christmas .

Announced in the spring of last year, the festive family film was originally titled Operation Rudolph , and has been scripted by Borat ’s Peter Baynham with Mulan ’s Sarah Smith and Barry Cook directing.

Now the production has really picked up pace, casting three high profile Brits and promising to answer the age-old question of how Santa gets his job done all in one night (it’s all about his hi-tech North Pole operations).

McAvoy, coming off the back of playing a young Professor X in X-Men: First Class , will voice the titular Arthur, the bumbling youngest son of Santa. Laurie will play Arthur’s older bro Steve, “a cool, incredibly capable guy who has given the North Pole high-tech efficiency, military-style precision”.

Meanwhile, Broadbent will (naturally) play Santa himself, while Imelda Staunton and Bill Nighy have also been cast as Mrs Clause and 136-year-old Grandsanta respectively (though Nighy as Mrs Clause could have worked, too).

After Flushed Away failed to set the box office alight in 2006, can Aardman finally recreate the success of Wallace And Gromit in CGI form? With a cast like that, our ho-ho-hopes are high.

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.