Here's our first look at the characters in Zack Snyder's 3D adaptation of Kathryn Lasky's Guardians of Ga'Hoole, which Warner Bros. recently renamed to Legend of the Guardians -- they didn't think people would know what a Ga'Hoole is... that's a type of bread right? No?
The film is Syder's first animated movie, and it features a great voice cast which includes: Jim Sturgess, Sam Neill, Geoffrey Rush, Hugo Weaving, David Wenham (300) Emily Barclay(Prime Mover), Abbie Cornish(Stop-Loss), Emilie de Ravin (LOST), Ryan Kwanten (True Blood), Jay Laga'aia (Revenge of the Sith), Miriam Margolyes, and Helen Mirren.
Based on the first three books in Lasky's 15-book series, Guardians follows a young owl named Soren (Sturgess) who is kidnapped by owls of St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls, where owlets are brainwashed into becoming soldiers who will ultimately clash with the wise, peaceful owls of Ga'Hoole. He and his new friends escape to the island of Ga'Hoole, to assist its noble owls who fight the army being created by the wicked rulers of St. Aggie's.
We of course know Snyder from his action-packed, slo/fast-mo, blood fueled adaptations of 300, Watchmen, and Dawn of The Dead. For Guardians, Snyder, a father of five, said he wanted "to do something my kids could watch." Though the film will be "not as hardcore," Snyder wanted "a beautiful, computer-generated, 3-D world the kids had never seen before."
Gaurdians has drawn comparisons to Lord of The Rings and Watership Down, and any Harry Potter fan would love to see owls battle rather than just deliver messages. But Snyder acknowledges the 3-D spectacle of Guardians could draw comparisons to Avatar, saying James Cameron's film "has raised the profile of our kind of movies, which is great. He's just raised the bar very high."
Here's five photos, and character introductions from Snyder, that he did with USAToday. You can read the full interview Here.
Check them out and let us know what you think!
Deborra-Lee Furness plays Barran, the queen of the great tree, a source of knowledge for the noble owls of Ga'Hoole. "She's powerful, but a diplomat as well," says Legend of the Guardians director Zack Snyder. Snyder says he chose Furness as much for her energy as her voice. "One of the things I looked for in casting voices was enthusiasm, and she had plenty of it."
Noctus, who is father to main hero Soren, is voiced by Hugo Weaving, whose hypnotic voice wafted through the Matrix and Lord of the Rings trilogies. "I was just trying to find a voice of that kind of dad you believe in, who won't lead you down the wrong road. Hugo has the voice of a teacher, which is exactly what we needed."
Nyra is an evil queen of the St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls, where the birds are actually brainwashed into becoming soldiers. Helen Mirren, who played a conflicted monarch in The Queen, gets to "become kind of a female Darth Vader" this time around, Snyder says. Though she has a reputation for being regal, Mirren plays a vicious leader "who pulls some of the strings and has a need for power."
Emilie de Ravin plays Eglantine, left, a good friend of Soren, center, and a member of the owls' search-and-rescue team. Jim Sturgess plays Soren, while Ryan Kwanten provides the voice for Kludd, right, Soren's jealous brother. "Soren is a classic hero," Snyder says. "He loves his sister, who is sweet, but smart beyond her years. He's a dreamer. He loves myths and stories. Kludd sees all that as weakness."
Richard Roxburgh plays Boron, center-left, the kindly King of Ga'Hoole. He's fond of scatological humor and carousing with sea gulls, which keeps things lively in the tree. "We're looking to find a balance," Snyder says. "The books are very layered and intense, which is why they're so popular. But we want to make a movie the family can see, so you want to have humor and things for kids, too."