War Horse Gallops to the Big Screen???
Date: 24 December 2009
Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks Studios has acquired the film rights to Michael Morpurgo's War Horse, the stage version of which is currently running - or should that be trotting? - at the New London Theatre (See News, 18 Dec 2008).
Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall is rumoured to be working on the screenplay, although it's uncertain whether Spielberg will direct. The Oscar-winning director told Variety recently: "From the moment I read the book, I knew this was a film I wanted DreamWorks to make. Its heart and its message provide a story that can be felt in every country."
Morpurgo’s 1982 children’s book tells of young Albert, whose beloved horse Joey is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France during the First World War. Unable to forget Joey and still too young to enlist, the boy embarks on a treacherous mission to find the horse and bring him home.
The stage version, which was adapted by Nick Stafford, premiered at the National Theatre in October 2007, co-directed by NT associates Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris.
Interestingly, one of the first publications to break to story of the film version was Horse and Hound magazine, not often a source of theatre-related scoops (although it did take a particular interest in the 2007 West End outing of Equus).
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