Lions Gate adapting William Steigs Sylvester and The Magic Pebble

Posted by: MacReady

Lions Gate Family Entertainment (LGFE) has announced its second feature film project, SYLVESTER, based on the beloved and award-winning children’s book Sylvester and The Magic Pebble (Simon & Schuster, 1969) by the late William Steig, also the creator of Shrek. LGFE acquired the rights from Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. The acquisition comes on the heels of the division's announcement of its first film project, the 3-D animated feature FOODFIGHT!, which is currently in production and scheduled for a November 2006 wide release. LGFE plans to start development of the project immediately.

In 1970, William Steig was awarded the prestigious Randolph Caldecott Medal for Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. The Caldecott Medal is presented annually by the American Library Association to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. Steig, who passed away last year, is the author and illustrator of more than 30 children’s books including The Amazing Bone, a Caldecott Honor Book; Abel’s Island and Doctor De Soto, both Newbery Honor Books.

"To have this much loved property as our second film under the Lions Gate Family Entertainment banner is very exciting, and we are committed to making a film version that will be treasured as much as the wonderful book it is based on," said Ortenberg and Katsumoto. "We are thrilled that Lions Gate Family Entertainment has created such a strong buzz in the industry so quickly. We are committed to honor Mr. Steig’s memory by making the film version of his beloved book into the next animated family film classic," said Rick Richter, President of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.

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