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It’s been about 10 years since we first heard about a film adaptation of The Wind in the Willows coming together with the help of Peter Jackson‘s WETA Workshop. At the time, the plan was for WETA’s Ray Griggs to direct a live-action movie using advanced animatronics to bring the four anthropomorphic animal characters, Mole, Rat, Toad and Badger, to life. However, a decade later, the plans have changed and a new filmmaker is on board to help
Peter Jackson’s WETA Digital is now involved with The Wind in the Willows movie, which will now create Mole, Rat, Toad and Badger with computer animation. Ray Griggs is still directing and offering special effects experience on WETA’s behalf along with Richard Taylor at WETA Workshop. But now Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes is on board to write the movie, and Jurassic Park producer Gerald R. Molen is getting involved too.
Variety has news on the return of The Wind in the Willows movie, with Julian Fellowes joining the project. This comes four years after the Downtown Abbey writer and executive producer wrote a musical version of Kenneth Grahame’s classic novel with music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. It’s not clear if Fellowes will be bringing those musical sensibilities to this adaptation, or if it’s just his approach to the characters that’s being utilized, but his involvement is an exciting addition.
For those unfamiliar, here’s how the book is described on Amazon:
“Since 1903, the escapades of Mole, his friend Water Rat, shy Badger, and Toad of Toad Hall have delighted children, and adults, too. Follow the winning foursome through the seasons as they sail the river, get lost in the Wild Wood, take off on a merry adventure in Toad’s colorful carriage, and rescue Toad Hall from a band of nasty marauding weasels.”
If you haven’t read the book, then maybe you’ve seen the Disney adaptation from 1949, which was part of a double feature of two short stories called The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. The movie also inspired the Disneyland attraction known as Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. But this new adaptation will likely be a little more true to the novel.
After being in development for so many years, it sounds like now is the time for the project to finally get off the ground. Molen said:
“We are finalizing some of the finest actors to lend their creative and vocal talents. 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. We have all the right pieces to create what will prove to be the definitive adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s classic.”...
Joby Harold, whose writing credits include Awake, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, and Zack Snyder’s upcoming Army of the Dead, has been hired as the new writer of the untitled Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+. Get the details below.
Variety has the news, reporting that Harold is taking over as the show’s writer after the show was shut down earlier this year. Drive screenwriter Hossein Amini turned in scripts, sets were built, staff were hired, and star Ewan McGregor was back on board…but Lucasfilm decided to pull the plug and start from scratch, throwing out Amini’s scripts and beginning the search for a new writer to come in and take over. That search, which at one time reportedly included The Mandalorian veterans Dave Filoni and Christopher Yost as options, is now over, as the studio has hired Joby Harold to get things back on track.
Harold is an unexpected choice for this job, since he’s arguably better known as a producer than a writer at this point. He’s produced or executive produced Edge of Tomorrow, Robin Hood, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, and the WGN America series Underground. On the writing side, he wrote and directed his first feature film, Awake, back in 2007, and a decade passed before his script for King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword was eventually produced. That film was supposed to launch a six-movie franchise, but didn’t perform well enough to even get a single sequel, let alone five. Army of the Dead is in post-production and he’s on board to write another Transformers project, but those are the only four writing credits listed.
More to come…
Cursed Films, Shudder’s new series about the urban legends surrounding classic horror films, is a must-watch. They’ve already debuted an episode on The Exorcist, and this week they’ll be premiering a new ep devoted to Richard Donner’s 1976 classic, The Omen. We’re debuting an exclusive Cursed Films clip that features Donner and more talking about some of the spooky happenings that surrounded The Omen‘s production.Cursed Films Clip
Do you believe in curses? I don’t, but I sure love hearing about them. Especially when they’re curses associated with classic horror films. Shudder’s new series Cursed Films covers this very topic, and it’s a wonderful show. Rather than just sensationalize the material, the series – directed by Jay Cheel – actually takes the time to dig for the truth, and get to the bottom of it all.
One of this week’s new Cursed Films episodes focuses on The Omen, and in the clip above, you can hear all about the admittedly alarming amount of plane-related mishaps surrounding the pic. We learn that star Gregory Peck’s plane was struck by lightning when he was flying to England to shoot the film. Then, just a few days later, screenwriter David Seltzer was also flying to England and his plane was also struck by lightning. Lastly, we learn that still another plane Peck was supposed to be on actually crashed. And not just crashed, but crashed into a car carrying the wife and child of the plane’s pilot. Is that extremely bad luck…or the work of a sinister, supernatural curse? Cue the spooky Jerry Goldsmith music.
Cursed Films is a “five-part documentary series that explores the myths and legends behind some of Hollywood’s notoriously “cursed” horror film productions. From plane accidents and bombings during the making of The Omen, to the rumored use of real human skeletons on the set of Poltergeist, these stories are legendary amongst film fans and filmmakers alike. But where does the truth lie? Cursed Films reveals the events that haunted these productions through interviews with experts, witnesses and the cast, directors and producers who lived through the real-life events. Were these films really cursed, as many believe, or just the victims of bad luck and bizarre circumstances?”
The episode devoted to The Omen and another episode focusing on Poltergeist premieres on Shudder April 9.Source: Slashfilm.com