‘Joseph Conrad’s chilling classic Heart of Darkness is being adapted into an animated feature, with a trio of stars having signed up to add their voices.
Michael Sheen, Matthew Rhys and Andrew Scott have joined the upcoming film, The Hollywood Reporter has learned, with the project set to be presented at the upcoming European Film Market in Berlin. Award-winning director Gerald Conn, who won 1998 Welsh BAFTA for animated short The Comet’s Tale, is directing via a animation technique he specializes in using sand. Production is taking place across Wales, Ireland and Belgium.
Conrad’s original novella, first published in 1898, was a dark and brooding exploration of human nature and colonialism, telling the story of Marlow, an idealistic seaman captaining a steamboat up the River Congo — then under brutal Belgian rule — in search of a mysterious figure named Kurtz who had carved out a kingdom in which he has power of life and death over his native subjects. The much-studied story has inspired the likes of films such as Apocalypse Now and even video games including Far Cry 2.
THR understands that Sheen is set to voice Kurtz, with Scott voicing the Russian sailor nicknamed Harlequin and Rhys a relative of Marlow’s that he meets on the journey. The central role of Marlow is still being cast.
The animated adaptation was written by Mark Jenkins and Mary Kate O Flanagan, with Conn producing via his own Wales-based Gritty Realism banner. Both the Irish Film Board and Film Wales have backed the project, while Sheen is also exec producing.
Celsius Entertainment is representing international sales of the film and will be making a presentation to buyers in Berlin. ‘