Stephen Fry is to join the cast of the big-screen adaptation of Douglas Adams's cult novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. On hearing that he had been chosen as the voice of the Guide, the electronic book that guides Arthur Dent on his galactic travels, Fry said that it was "like having your birthday on Christmas Day, discovering a winning lottery ticket in your stocking, and having chocolate poured all over you." Executive producer Robbie Stamp said he had chosen Fry for the role partly because he knew that Adams, who died in 2001, was a friend of them both and "would have been delighted with the choice. His humor and intelligence are perfect for the voice of the Guide." Adams wrote the screenplay based on the book before his death.
Martin Freeman of The Office will play hero Arthur Dent, who goes on an unplanned intergalactic tour when Earth is destroyed to make way for an interstellar bypass. Other cast members include Bill Nighy, Alan Rickman, and John Malkovich, who is taking a new role created by Adams especially for the film.