Julian Fellowes is to write the script for the movie adaptation of classic children’s novel The Wind in the Willows.
The Downton Abbey creator is teaming up with Oscar-winning producer Gerald R. Molen to give Kenneth Grahame’s 1908 classic the movie treatment. The British author’s famed children’s book focused on four anthropomorphised animals named Mole, Rat, Toad, and Badger, who lived by a river in Edwardian England.
Fellowes will collaborate with director Ray Griggs, while Richard Taylor from Weta Workshop and Peter Jackson’s Weta Digital will help to create the special effects and visual effects for the film, as the four main characters will be computer-generated.
“We could not have dreamed of a better writer and creative force than Julian Fellowes to work with Ray Griggs to bring to life the classic English novel’s characters, nor finer visionaries than Weta to capture the look and feel of Grahame’s world,” Molen said in a statement, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Molen didn’t reveal any casting news, but teased, “We are finalising some of the finest actors to lend their creative and vocal talents.”
Production on the project is set to take place this year at Jackson’s Stone Street Studios in Wellington, New Zealand, while California-based company Skywalker Sound will design all the sound effects and ambient noise.
Disney previously turned Grahame’s book into a short animated film in 1949 and the late Terry Jones wrote and directed a live-action version starring himself, Steve Coogan, and Eric Idle in 1996. There have also been many TV film adaptations.
Fellowes is no stranger to the material – he wrote the script for a stage musical of The Wind in the Willows back in 2016.
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