We know, we know – it's far too early on in the year to think of Christmas.


But Netflix have announced a rather exciting animated festive film that has been penned by Richard Curtis of Love Actually fame and also boasts a surprising stellar cast led by none other than Brian Cox.

The Succession star will be making a major turn away from his media mogul role and be starring in That Christmas as Santa, but that's not all. Cox will be joined by the likes of Fiona Shaw as Ms Trapper, Jodie Whittaker as Mrs Williams and Bill Nighy as Bill, residents of a charming seaside town where things turn upside down one Christmas.

The new Netflix film is adapted from the well-known children’s book series which is made up of The Empty Stocking, Snow Day and That Christmas, all written by Curtis and Rebecca Cobb.

While Curtis is, of course, known for films such as Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill, That Christmas is a first for the screenwriter and producer as it's his first animation project.

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An animated woman in a director's cap standing and looking upwards in front of a group of children.
India Brown, Kuhu Agarwal as Nisha, Bronte Smith as Eve "Evie", Ava Talbot as Scarlett and Freddie Spry as Teddy in That Christmas. Netflix

It's also a first for Simon Otto, who is known for the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy, as That Christmas also marks his directorial debut, despite Otto being a veteran in the world of animation.

According to the synopsis: "That Christmas follows a series of entwined tales about family and friends, love and loneliness, and Santa Claus making a big mistake, not to mention an enormous number of turkeys!"

On the announcement of the film, Curtis said: "This has been the most amazing adventure, my first animated film. It’s been especially exciting to see the whole world I imagined come to life beyond my wildest dreams - and populated by a dream bunch of actors, their wonderful voices turned into such rich and funny characters."

Similarly, director Otto added: “Becoming an animator had been on my Christmas wish list ever since I was a child and watching animated movies was one of the biggest Christmas traditions in my family. But never could I have imagined that one day I would get the chance to direct a Christmas film written by the one-and-only Richard Curtis and collaborate with some of the most iconic voice talents.

"Watching this cast bring life to these heart-warmingly funny tales and infuse them with the magic of animation is truly a dream come true. I hope That Christmas becomes a cherished tradition for audiences worldwide.”

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Aside from the main cast, further casting includes Lolly Adefope, Alex Macqueen, Katherine Parkinson, Sindhu Vee and India Brown.

Zazie Hayhurst, Sienna Sayer, Jack Wisniewski, Rosie Cavaliero, Paul Kaye, Guz Khan and Andy Nyman also make up the cast as well as Kuhu Agarwal, Bronte Smith, Freddie Spry, Ava Talbot, and Rhys Darby.

Of course, this isn't the first foray into Christmas films for Curtis either, with the director widely being known for Love Actually but also having released Genie just last year.

At the time of Genie's release last year, Curtis told RadioTimes.com that the new film "was a work that appealed to my constant love of Christmas movies and what I'm thinking about a lot now".

That Christmas will debut on Netflix later this year. Sign up for Netflix from £4.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

Check out more of our Film coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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