Jennifer Saunders, Eddie Izzard and Bill Bailey join fantasy film Man & Witch : News 2021 : Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide

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The cast also includes Pauline McLynn and Reginald D. Hunter

Jennifer Saunders, Eddie Izzard and Bill Bailey have joined the cast of the upcoming Man & Witch rom-com fantasy film.

The trio voice a goose, a sheep, and a donkey, respectively, in the family film about a lonely goatherd looking for love.

Their characters come to life with photorealistic puppets created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop and operated by a team of puppeteers.

Father Ted’s Pauline McLynn and stand-up Reginald D. Hunter make their big-screen debuts. McLynn plays the unnamed goatherd’s mother and Hunter her boyfriend.

Filming has just ended in Scotland and Los Angeles after six weeks.

The cast joins previously announced Sean Astin who plays the dog and Greg Steinbruner, who plays the goatherd and wrote the screenplay.

Man and a Witch also marks a return to the screen for Tami Stronach, who played the childlike empress in The Neverending Story but stepped away from the spotlight after the 1984 film.

The actress, who plays the titular witch, said: “I’ve known for a while that it was time to get back on screen. I was in New York doing plays and dances, and I thought to myself, “Eventually, people will just forget the never-ending story” and the fan mail will stop coming.

“But the opposite happened. The 80s kids have grown up and now they want to share the things they love with their own kids. And there’s this huge appetite for those classic movies, but also a desire to get back to what made those movies so timeless. A sense of wonder, magic and pleasure. A fantasy world that feels real. In which we can get lost and come back again and again as a family.

“My father was Scottish, so filming on location in Scotland was a dream come true. The castles, the countryside, it really feels like a fantasy kingdom wherever you point the camera. Of course, I didn’t know how I would feel in front of the camera after all this time. After six incredible weeks, now I know. It feels like coming home.”

Old man with disheveled hair and dirty face with two women and a potion

Her father will be played by Back to the Future star Christopher Lloyd, while the cast also includes Daniel Portman, who played Podrick Payne in Game of Thrones, and dancer Strictly Giovanni Pernice.

The film is directed by Michael Hines, who was behind the 62 episodes of Still Game.

Steinbruner said, “People ask us how we assembled such an amazing cast and creative team for the movie, and the answer is actually quite simple: we sent them the script.

‘The comment I got over and over again is ‘This is amazing. Why don’t people make movies like this anymore?’ If you don’t have $100 million to invest in CGI, just focus on telling a great story. And if you tell a good story, it turns out that’s what the great actors are all looking to work on.

“I’m incredibly excited and honored that so many icons – my lifelong heroes – have come together to bring the world of Man & Witch to life.”

Man & Witch is set to hit theaters late this year or early next.

Published: Jul 29, 2021

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