Aaargh! After a two-year absence from the big screen, Hugh Grant has finally chosen his next project. But, unfortunately, we won’t even get to see him in it. Instead, he’ll lend his voice to the upcoming stop-motion 3-D animation flick The Pirates! Band of Misfits.

Sony Pictures confirmed to EW that Grant — alongside the likes of Salma Hayek, Brendan Gleeson, and Ashley Jensen (you can just go ahead and add this to animated movie casts we wish would appear in a live-action flick together à la Despicable Me), will appear in the film, which is slated to hit theaters in March 2012. While it’s never disappointing to hear that Grant will be in a movie (Heck, I’d take a Music and Lyrics sequel at this point. Pop! is long overdue for a reunion tour anyway, no?), it’s a bit of a bummer fans won’t actually get to see the handsome actor’s face. Jeez, just, look at it.

Still, it’s a short-lived disappointment as Pirates! (I mean, look, even the movie title is excited about this) sounds pretty darn wonderful. Not only is it produced by the same company that brought us Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Chicken Run, but it’s got an inspired plot to boot(-y). In it, Grant will play the swashbuckling beard-tastic Pirate Captain who, while leading his kooky crew, vies for the Pirate of the Year Award against his enemies (Hayek, Jeremy Piven). As always, he’s got our vote.

Are you excited that Hugh Grant will appear in his first full-length animated flick, or are you too disappointed that it’s not live-action to care, PopWatchers?

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