Julian Fellowes to Write Film Adaptation of ‘The Wind in the Willows’

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(Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Academy Award winner Julian Fellowes (“Gosford Park”) will pen the script for an adaptation of the classic children’s novel “The Wind in the Willows,” as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

The film, based on Kenneth Grahame’s beloved work, is set to be produced by Academy Award winner Gerald R. Molen (“Schindler’s List”), with Peter Jackson’s WETA Digital set to have a part in the collaboration too. Filmmaker Ray Griggs and Richard Taylor at WETA Workshop are on board with the project.

Fellowes has spent the last few years attached to the Emmy Award winning “Downton Abbey,” having written and directed the show that lasted six seasons and had its own spin-off motion picture. The project will be a little different from what audiences are used to seeing from Fellowes.

The Hollywood Reporter included the following quote in regards to Fellowes becoming a part of the project:

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, who will produce the movie adaptation, said Wednesday in a statement.

This will not be the first time that Grahame’s novel has been adapted, with a live-action version in 1996 released, directed by the late Terry Jones. It had an all star cast of British talent, including Steve Coogan, John Cleese, Michael Palin and Stephen Fry. The novel was partly adapted back in 1949 by Disney, with one segment of the animated package film “The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad” based on the novel.

Work will now begin on casting and recruiting the right voice talent, with production set to take place this year in New Zealand at Jackson’s Stone Street Studios. Skywalker Sound will take charge of sound design.

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