Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy are set to play a married couple in an animated adaptation of beloved British children’s book “Mog’s Christmas.”
Cumberbatch and Foy will lend their voices to the Channel 4 adaptation of Judith Kerr’s book, playing Mog’s owners Mr and Mrs Thomas.
Joining them are “Bridgerton’s” Adjoa Andoh as the narrator, Miriam Margolyes (“Harry Potter”) and Maggie Steed (“Paddington 2”) as the Aunts, Zawe Ashton (“Fresh Meat”) as Mog’s neighbor Mrs Gaynor, Charlie Higson (“The Fast Show”) as the Jolly Uncle, comedian Gareth Berliner (“Dr Who”) as the Chestnut Seller and newcomers Amelie Law (age 11) and Teddy Skelton (age 9) as The Thomas’s children Debbie and Nicky.
Mog’s miaows and purrs will be provided by Kerr’s daughter Tacy Kneale.
The “Mog” books were based on Kerr’s own family cat and the first in the series was published in 1970, remaining in print for over 50 years.
“Our own Mog was a huge part of my childhood,” said Kneale. “I hope I’ve done her justice!”
Robin Shaw (“The Tiger Who Came to Tea”) is directing based on a screenplay by Joanna Harrison (“The Snowman and The Snowdog”).
“Mog’s Christmas” follows the cheeky tabby as she finds herself feeling a bit ignored during the Thomas family’s preparations for Christmas. When she sees the huge Christmas tree she freaks out and hightails it to the roof, from where, despite the family’s best efforts, she refuses to budge. Comfy in the snow, she eventually falls asleep and has a “cat themed Christmas dream” before falling down the chimney the following morning, just in time for breakfast.
“Judith Kerr’s much-loved Mog will be a great addition to this collection and a really special festive treat for the audience,” said Gwawr Lloyd, drama commissioning editor at Channel 4.
Ruth Fielding, producer and co-founder of Lupus Films said: “This festive, family-friendly tale has huge cross generational appeal and is the perfect literary classic to adapt for the whole family to come together to watch. We are thrilled to once again bring Judith Kerr’s delightful illustrations to life in animation and to do so in the 100th anniversary of her birth feels very special”.
Universal Pictures Content Group rep global rights.
The hand-drawn film, which is being produced by U.K. animation studio Lupus Films, will air later this year during Channel 4’s Christmas schedule. It was commissioned by Channel 4 in association with Universal Pictures Content Group. Lupus previously produced the Emmy award-winning adaptation of Kerr’s “The Tiger Who Came to Tea” for Channel 4.
Kerr, who also wrote a semi-autobiographical account of her escape from Nazi Germany in the book “When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit,” died in 2019. She would have turned one hundred this year.