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'Mouse Guard' Casts 'Jungle Book,' 'Black Panther' Actors

The cast for Mouse Guard, the forthcoming adaptation of the long-running, creator-owned comic book series of the same name, is well underway, with today's announcement of three major roles, including motion-capture legend Andy Serkis and The Jungle Book and Breaking Bad star Giancarlo Esposito.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news today that Serkis and Game of Thrones actor Thomas Brodie-Sangster have signed on to play the leads on the Fox project, which is being directed by Maze Runner filmmaker Wes Ball.

The Eisner Award-winning graphic novel by David Petersen, is a set in a medieval world and tells of an order of mice who are the sworn protectors of their realm.

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That Hashtag Show reports that Esposito has also joined the film’s cast in the role of Conrad, "an older mouse, who after a life of adventure on the high seas, joined the Mouse Guard as a member of their seaside outpost, Calogero."

Serkis will play the villainous Midnight, and Brodie-Sangster the heroic Liam.

The film will have a sizeable budget and use the same WETA technology that was used to bring the apes to life in the most-recent Planet of the Apes trilogy to recreate the animals from Petersen’s world.

“Not to make any news or anything, but I think that will be my next movie,” Petersen told ComingSoon last spring. “I kind of went off after this movie, had a vacation and was sort of dreaming about what could be next, but if all goes according to plan this might be it. It could be pretty special, actually. We’re just in the early stages, of course, but it’s gonna be a giant friggin’ movie. My next movie is probably going to cost what my last three movies combined cost. It’s kinda crazy, because it’s going to be one giant visual effects movie, essentially. It’s a fairly beloved little comic series, same as Maze Runner in a lot of ways. There’s a lot of people who love these books.”

Ball went on to say that he’s committed to maintaining the grounded, realistic tone of the comics.

“The trick with this one is we have to thread that needle with tone,” he explained. “I’m not interested in doing a DreamWorks or Pixar-type movie, I’m interested in doing something closer to Planet of the Apes where you’re really gonna nail characters and show the harsh reality of what they live in. It’s gonna be a little bit of both, probably, but at the same time because of the cost I need as big an audience as possible. So I want 10-year olds to see this as much as 40 and 50-year olds, you know? That’s the needle we have to thread, but for me personally… the way Star Wars appealed to me as a kid growing up hit that tone in a weird way. It appealed to the kid in everybody but still took itself seriously. That’s really exciting to me, that kind of film, that kind of target, but obviously set in this really harsh world of mice and swords.”

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Mouse Guard has Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves on board as a producer, which should help Ball achieve that same tone for Mouse Guard. Gary Whitta is writing the script. 20th Century Fox is producing.

Are you ready to see Mouse Guard on the big screen? Let us know what you think in the comments!