Revolution Studios Water Horse Movie Coming

Posted by: Michael
Walden Media, the producer of the blockbuster film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, along with Beacon Pictures and Revolution Studios, has selected Dick King-Smith's critically-acclaimed novel "The Water Horse" as one of its next big-screen adaptations, it was announced today.   The film will be an Ecosse Films production.
The Water Horse will be brought to the screen by director Jay Russell (Ladder 49, My Dog Skip), with screenwriter Robert Nelson Jacobs (The Shipping News, Chocolat) adapting King-Smith's ("Babe, The Gallant Pig") book.  The film will be produced by Robert Bernstein (Charlotte Gray, Mrs. Brown), Douglas Rae (Charlotte Gray, Mrs. Brown), Barrie Osborne (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) and Charlie Lyons (Firewall).  Osborne recently partnered with Walden Media to produce City of the Beasts, a film based on the first book of Isabel Allende's young adult adventure trilogy.
"I am delighted at the news that my story 'The Water Horse' is to be made into a film," said Dick King-Smith, the book's author.  "It is something that I have long hoped would happen and I'm most excited that this particular book of mine is to be adapted into a visual medium."     Based on Dick King-Smith's acclaimed story, The Water Horse tells the magical story of a lonely boy in Scotland who finds a mysterious egg on the shore of a loch.  When the egg hatches, what emerges is a "water horse," a mythical sea monster of Scottish legend.  But as the rapidly growing beast becomes harder to conceal from those who see it as a threat, the boy must find new ways to protect the misunderstood creature.
"The Water Horse has a classic quality that I believe movie-going audiences are craving," said director Russell.  "The pedigree of this material is exceptional, and it is a project I have been pursuing relentlessly for over five years.  It has all of the elements I am looking for as a filmmaker and I truly believe this is the film I was born to make." The special effects for the film will be done by Weta Digital and Weta Workshop, who most recently were responsible for the ground-breaking visuals in Peter Jackson's blockbuster King Kong.  Walden Media worked with Weta Workshop to develop the fantastical creatures in The Chronicles of Narnia.
"Dick King-Smith, whom I had the pleasure of working with on Babe, has enchanted countless young readers with his imaginative retelling of the Loch Ness myth," said Walden Media CEO Cary Granat.  "With Jay Russell, Barrie Osborne, Robert Bernstein, and Robert Nelson Jacobs on board, we have an amazing collection of star players, and we are proud to work with them to bring Dick's vision to life.  It doesn't get any better than this." According to Beacon Pictures CEO Charlie Lyons, "The legend of the monster of the lochs has delighted and mystified people world wide.  We are excited that this story will be brought to life by some of the  brightest filmmakers around.  And Dick King-Smith is our hero." 
"This is a timeless story whose message is as relevant today as it was when the book was written more than 20 years ago," said Revolution Studios founder Joe Roth.  "It is a story of legendary proportions, and we have great people on board to make it a truly magical event."     According to Robert Bernstein, "I am delighted that The Water Horse is finally finding its way to the screen.  It is a timeless and poignant story which has huge universal appeal.  I am especially pleased to be working with the fantastic creative team assembled on this picture."     "I was drawn to The Water Horse after reading the script, which I fell in love with," said Barrie Osborne.  "The project will be even more special for me as it provides the opportunity to reunite with much of the same team I worked with on Lord of the Rings."     The film is expected to begin production in May, 2006 in Scotland and New Zealand.


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