Emojis are set to feature highly in the not-too-distant future for Sir Patrick Stewart, as the legendary Shakespearean actor is set to star in the upcoming The Emoji Movie. As a familiar face to film fans from his leading appearances in the X-Men and Star Trek: The Next Generation franchises, it will be his distinctive vocal tones that come to the fore this time around, as he provides the voice behind the popular poo emoji alongside British comedian James Corden.

Boldly going forth once again

The Mirfield-born Stewart – better known to Trekkies as Captain Jean-Luc Picard – clearly recognises the appeal to a modern-day audience of the digital icons.

With the small images seemingly playing an ever-increasing role in electronic communications, their simplicity in allowing people to visually express an idea or emotion reduces the need for actual words.

Change of pace for Stewart

It’s an intriguing and slightly surprising extension to the 76-year-old’s acting CV however, as he voices the slightly quirky character of the smiling turd with eyes in the animated comedy. ‘Poop’ will be just one of the emoticons to feature in the new film, expected to be released in cinemas later this year.

Corden joins the cast

Fellow Brit, Corden also seems keen to spread his wings into fresh showbiz challenges. The host of the American late-night television chat show The Late Late Show, has been lined up to voice ‘Hi-Five’.

Thrilling emoji adventure

The basic action for The Emoji Movie centres on an emoji capable of multiple expressions called ‘Gene’ (voiced by Silicon Valley’s TJ Miller), who sets out on a thrilling adventure alongside code-breaker ‘Jailbreak’ (comedian Ilana Glazer) within a teenager’s mobile phone.

American Pie link

Ardent fans of the American Pie movies may also recognise the familiar voice of Jennifer Coolidge in the new film, as "Stifler's Mom" brings Gene’s emoji mother to life.

Pogba launch

Emoji popularity has recently permeated into the sporting world as well, with the launch of his own Twitter emoji by Manchester United footballing star Paul Pogba. Producers of the new movie will clearly hope for more stars to add their support to the emoticon craze in the following months, as they look to boost interest in their venture.