Olivia Colman and Matt Smith have been tapped to bring Superworm to life for BBC. Hailing form Magic Light Pictures (the studio behind the beloved children's movie The Gruffalo) and directed by Sarah Scrimgeour and Jac Hamman, Superworm is based on the childen's book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Colman will narrate the animated special, while Smith will play the role of the titular Superworm. Other actors set to appear in the project include Patricia Allison (Sex Education) and Rob Brydon (Gavin & Stacey). The story centers on Superworm, a heroic ("super-long, super-strong") worm who finds himself kidnappe by Wizard Lizard and The Crow.
Then, it's time for Butterfly, Superworm's friend and someone for whom he's always there when he's needed, to be a hero and save him instead. Allison will play Butterfly, while Brydon will voice the Crow, according to Deadline.
Scrimgeour and Hamman will be working from a script by Max and Suzanne Lang, and the special will be produced by Barney Goodland, with executive producers Martin Pope and Michael Rose for Magic Light. Composer Rene Aubry will shape the soundtrack of the special, Blue Zoo Animation Studio pitches in on the animation.
"This is such a lovely project to be involved with," Colman said in a statement. "When reading the script, and imagining all those goings on at the end of the garden, I could really get a feel for the pure fun and joy that the film will bring."
The BBC's adaptations of Donaldson and Scheffler children's books have become a staple of BBC ONe's holiday lineup, with Superworm serving as the ninth. Last year's adaptation of Zog and the Flying Doctors reportedly drew seven million viewers to the network.
Colman, a veteran of the Thomas the Tank Engine franchise, has been starring in the hit series The Crown, and has another show -- Landscapers -- set to go into production soon.
Smith, aside from Doctor Who, also appears in The Crown, and has the Game of Thrones spinoff House of the Dragon coming soon. He is also set to appear in the Jared Leto-starring Spider-Man spinoff Morbius, the Living Vampire, which is set for a 2022 release from Sony.