Olivia Colman, Matt Smith to star in BBC’s Superworm
Staff Reporter | On 06, Feb 2021
Olivia Colman and Matt Smith will team up for an animated adaptation of Superworm for BBC One.
Superworm, created by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, is a hero with a difference. Super-long and super-strong, he’s always on hand to help out all the other animals and insects – whether he’s saving baby toad from an accident, rescuing beetle from falling down a well, or even good-naturedly offering himself up as a skipping rope for some bored bees. Superworm and his best friend Butterfly make a great team but Superworm too often takes all the credit. When the wicked Wizard Lizard hears about Superworm’s special skills, he sends his servant Crow to kidnap Superworm. Despite everything, with her friend in deep trouble, Butterfly comes to the rescue, convincing the other creatures to help her with a daring plan…
The first-rate voice cast for the adaptation will be headlined by the Oscar-winning Colman as narrator and Emmy nominee Smith playing the hero, Superworm. They are joined by Patricia Allison (Sex Education) as Butterfly, and Rob Brydon (Gavin & Stacey) as the Crow, with other cast to be announced later in the year.
Olivia Colman says: “This is such a lovely project to be involved with. 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. I’ve always loved these charming productions at Christmas and I’m delighted to be voicing the narrator.”
Matt Smith says: “I’m delighted to play the part of Superworm! And join such a fabulous cast of actors, artists and storytellers. What fun to be part of the BBC’s Christmas line up in this great children’s tale.”
Superworm is the ninth TV adaptation of a Donaldson/Scheffler title for BBC One and BBC iPlayer. The annual Magic Light Pictures films have become firm fixtures in the Christmas schedules. Zog and the Flying Doctors, which aired on Christmas Day 2020 and starred Sir Lenny Henry and Rob Brydon, secured 7 million viewers in all-screen +30day figures.
Rob Brydon, playing Crow, says: “This will be my ninth appearance in a Donaldson/ Scheffler adaptation. Working on these Magic Light productions is always a delight and deciding how to voice characters is such fun. I love watching them on TV at Christmas – a lovely way to round off my year.”
Donaldson and Scheffler, creators of The Gruffalo, collaborated once again on this animated half-hour, which has been acquired by Charlotte Moore, BBC Chief Content Officer and Tommy Bulfin, Commissioning Editor, BBC Drama.
Superworm is being directed by Sarah Scrimgeour and Jac Hamman, from a script by Max Lang and Suzanne Lang. Producer is Barney Goodland with Executive Producers Martin Pope & Michael Rose for Magic Light Pictures. The composer is Rene Aubry, who has written the music for the collection of Magic Light films. Animation services will be provided by Blue Zoo Animation Studio.
It will air on BBC One at Christmas this year.