Prepare for an epic journey into the unknown when The Sea Beast sets sail on Netflix this July. The original story is inspired by Academy Award-winning director and writer Chris William’s love of adventure stories and vintage sea monster maps. “I would look at those maps and I always thought, man, that would make an awesome world for an animated movie, so I made one.”
The theme of a crew working together onboard a ship is present throughout the film, reflecting the collaborations between the filmmakers themself in bringing the story to life. “One of the major collaborators that we always have on animated films are our actors,” according to Jed Schlanger, The Sea Beast‘s producer. “And we were so lucky and thankful to have such a talented and committed, and giving group.”
Karl Urban is Jacob Holland
Let’s start with Karl Urban, our Jacob Holland. So Jacob goes through a lot in this film, but his strength and his confidence and his warmth, they’re always present. And Karl actually, he brings a lot of the same things. So he has this toughness, but he’s confident, but he has this amazing sort of self deprecating sense of humor and that really comes through. So we really tried to lean into that actually. There’s so much of this film where Jacob is being questioned or being catapulted from one dangerous thing to the next and really, there’s so much of the movie that actually go his way or the way he wants things to go, even.Jed Schlanger
So to have somebody like Karl who’s carrying that through into the part, right? And finding that timing in the recording booth. And then that timing is getting translated by our animation team, it’s breathing life into Jacob, it’s so much fun to watch. And then you have Karl who’s this amazingly giving guy, and he’s in the recording booth and his warmth and his strength and his good natur is always on display and coming through. And he was an unbelievable workhorse for us because obviously he has a lot of lines, but any sound that Jacob makes is basically Karl making that sound. So we have tons of vocalizations and efforts and things that he needs to provide because Jacob’s shouting orders, he’s hanging from ropes, he’s throwing lances, he’s almost getting swallowed multiple times by sea monsters. So he was unbelievably spent at the end of every session, but he was incredibly giving and willing and finding things for us all the time. And he was always ready for the next one, the next record. And he had ideas and he came in and just delivered for us.
Zaris-Angel Hator is Maisie Brumble
So Maisie, we’re trying to establish a character there where she’s bright, she’s determined, she’s so strong, but you still want to have an actual child, right? She has to really be an actual child. So in our case, that child’s also questioning things that are fundamental things in her life and her thinking. So it’s a very sophisticated arc. So it’s part of why we were so lucky to be able to work with Zaris-Angel Hator. She was this person when we met her in the room for the first time and she was kind of giving us glimpses of what Maisie could be. And then when we started to record with her, we realized that we were dealing with an actress that was so sophisticated beyond her years. And I think Zaris’ ability to provide such a layered approach, right? It really pushed this character to such a compelling way. It this truthful depth basically that I thought she provided.Jed Schlanger
And she was quick witted and focused and she’s passionate and dignified and Maisie has all this strength, but she’s also still so vulnerable, and Zaris was able to find those layers and keep them so honest and so truthful. Honestly, there’s no Maisie without her, frankly.
Jared Harris is Captain Crow
When we start this movie, captain Crow is on this collision course with his destiny. And his rage and the vengeance that’s motivating him, it’s like this magnet for the people around him. But it’s tricky because you want to make a bad guy that actually doesn’t feel like he’s just a bad guy. We have to have the audience connect to him and feel empathy for him. And it’s actually through his relationship with Jacob that we start to reveal his vulnerabilities. And Jared Harris is such an amazing actor. He was able to play these contradictions and find this emotional depth and this resonant that created somebody that was way more than a bad guy.Jed Schlanger
Jared takes Crow to this level where his pain, his triumph, his anguish, it’s all just below the surface in every line reading and every interaction. And we were just so thrilled with Jared’s take on Crow. His efforts to make him so complex, but still so real and yet still live as this mythical character in our world, it was just incredible.
Marianne Jean-Baptiste is Sarah Sharp
Sarah Sharp is the first made to Captain Crow and she’s such an interesting character because she’s strong, she’s got this wry sense of humor and this sort of unique view of her life and the way she leads it. And despite the dangers of what she does and the history, she’s confident. She’s so confident and she’s unflappable. But her wisdom, even though it’s unparalleled and she has all this experience, she’s still open enough to be able to look at her life a little bit through a new lens. So finding somebody to embody all of that, it’s not easy, but of course, Marianne Jean-Baptiste who played Sarah, she made it look easy.Jed Schlanger
When we were recording with her, she had this amazing, steady, calming presence, and she really brought that to Sarah. It really breathed life into Sarah. And her gift sort of like really helped us find Sarah and who she could really be in our film. She had this strong foundation that she provided for animation that they could really jump off from and really own and take and make Sarah something special. She has this tough exterior that Marianne brought, but offered this compassionate person that was underneath, somebody who had given so much, someone who had sacrificed for others for their wellbeing, but still looking and interested in finding what is the truth, what is the truth to her life and what she’s provided.
You can meet the crew at the heart of The Sea Beast when the original film begins streaming on Netflix July 8, 2022.
About The Sea Beast
From Academy Award winning filmmaker Chris Williams (Moana, Big Hero Six), THE SEA BEAST takes us to where the map ends, and the true adventure begins. Starring Karl Urban, Zaris-Angel Hator, Jared Harris, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Dan Stevens and Kathy Burke.
In an era when terrifying beasts roamed the seas, monster hunters were celebrated heroes – and none were more beloved than the great Jacob Holland. But when young Maisie Brumble stows away on his fabled ship, he’s saddled with an unexpected ally. Together they embark on an epic journey into uncharted waters and make history.
THE SEA BEAST attacks Netflix July 8.