Evil Wallace And Gromit penguin returns for vengeance after 30 years

Feathers McGraw will return to play a central role in the Wallace And Gromit film series after three decades.

The evil penguin, who was first seen in 1993’s Bafta and Oscar-winning short The Wrong Trousers, will return to get revenge on inventor Wallace and his trusty and loyal beagle Gromit in the BBC’s Vengeance Most Fowl.

McGraw was arrested and sent to a zoo in the original film following him renting a room by disguising himself as a chicken with a red glove on his head, and subsequently revealing his true nature.

He appeared briefly in the series Cracking Contraptions in a fictional TV show When Penguins Turn and in the game Wallace & Gromit In Project Zoo.

A teaser, released on Thursday, for Vengeance Most Fowl shows the dastardly penguin’s fish key chain and keys, comb, tape measure and glove being put in a prison tray before he enters a cell while a guard looks on before cracking his neck.

Wallace and Gromit with their gnome improvement truck (Richard Davies/Aardman Animations)
Wallace and Gromit with their gnome improvement truck (Richard Davies/Aardman Animations)

It had previously been revealed that the film will see Wallace develop a “smart gnome” that seems to have a mind of its own.

Wallace And Gromit creator and director of the new 70-minutes film, Nick Park, said: “I’d had the idea of a film about garden gnomes turning bad for more than a decade, but I could never work out what made them bad.

“It occurred to me that the single most asked question I get when I meet fans is, will the penguin Feathers McGraw, Wallace and Gromit’s original antagonist from The Wrong Trousers 30 years ago, ever return?

“We’ve had fun bringing him back in cameo capacities but now, three decades on, it felt like the right time.

“Then it hit me: What if Feathers was involved with these gnomes? We’re hoping that this film will appeal to fans of ‘Gnome Noir’ everywhere and that people will be gratified when they see what Feathers has been up to since The Wrong Trousers.”

The film will also see events spiral out of control and it fall to Gromit to put aside his qualms and battle sinister forces – or Wallace may never be able to invent again.

Merlin Crossingham, creative director of Wallace and Gromit and director of Vengeance Most Fowl, said: “While we’d love to revive the enthusiasm across our existing fan base, we also want this film to reach people who have never come across Wallace and Gromit before.

“Hopefully, Vengeance Most Fowl is full of everything people love about Wallace and Gromit while introducing new themes to their ongoing story.”

Ben Whitehead, who has been in other Wallace and Gromit projects, will again play the the eccentric, cheese-loving inventor from the north of England, following him taking over from the late Last Of The Summer Wine actor Peter Sallis.

Merlin Crossingham and Nick Park (Aardman Animations/Richard Davies)
Merlin Crossingham and Nick Park (Aardman Animations/Richard Davies)

Comedian Peter Kay, who was in The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit, returns as Pc Mackintosh, who has been promoted to chief inspector, while Inside No. 9 star Reece Shearsmith and Everybody’s Talking About Jamie actress Lauren Patel join the cast.

There will also be cameos from Motherland actress and comedian Diane Morgan, Bridgerton actress Adjoa Andoh and comedian and actor Sir Lenny Henry.

More details of their roles will be revealed at a later date for the film, which is written by Park and Mark Burton and produced by Richard Beek.

Charlotte Moore, chief content officer at the BBC, said: “This new feature-length Wallace And Gromit film will captivate audiences of all ages this Christmas on the BBC, as the longed-for return of Feathers McGraw and some ingenious inventions including a smart gnome make for an unmissable adventure showcasing British creativity at its best.”

The film will be shown on BBC One and BBC iPlayer over this Christmas in the UK and outside the country on Netflix.