LONDON -- Donald Sutherland's shingle, Martin's River Ink, is to produce toonpic "Pirate's Passage." CBC Television has taken Canadian rights, and Tandem Communications is selling international rights.

Sutherland and partner Brad Peyton are producing, and penned the screenplay, which is based on William Gilkerson's novel.

Sutherland will voice the lead character, Captain Johnson. Cast also includes Gage Munroe ("The Immortals") as the young hero, Jim Hawkins; Carrie-Anne Moss ("The Matrix") as his hard-luck mother; and Kim Coates ("Sons of Anarchy") as a ruthless local businessman, Roy Moehner.

Peyton will direct alongside Mike Barth of PIP Animation.

Pic is set in 1952 in Grey Rocks, Nova Scotia, which was famous 250 years ago as a favored port of pirates. Twelve-year-old Jim suffers daily the death of his father and the schoolyard bullying of Roy Moehner's son Todd, but carries on, buoyed by an optimistic imagination fueled with a vivid sense of adventure. His mother is struggling to keep their livelihood -- the Admiral Anson Inn -- from falling into the hands of Moehner. The arrival of Captain Johnson changes the family's life.

"'Pirate's Passage' is a thrillingly exhilarating adventure, a glorious coming-of-age-story, rich in both imagination and history, in perception and truth," Sutherland said.

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