“Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes, producer Gerald R. Molen (“Schindler’s List”), and Peter Jackson’s Weta Workshop and Weta Digital are all teaming up for a new feature film adaptation of the iconic children’s novel “The Wind in the Willows”.
Kenneth Grahame’s 1908 literary classic is set in Edwardian England and follows the anthropomorphised Mole as he ventures out from his underground home for the first time and encounters many a strange creature, including the water-loving Rat; the knowledgeable but curmudgeonly Badger; and the rich, jovial, but utterly foolish Toad.
Filming will take place at Jackson’s Stone Street Studios in New Zealand, while Skywalker Sound will design all the sound effects and ambient noise. Weta Digital will handle the CG for the four main characters, and major actors are being locked now to voice the characters.
Fellowes penned the script for a stage musical version of the story several years ago, while WETA was linked to a version that was in development a decade ago but never took off.
The story has been adapted to film and television numerous times, the most memorable being Cosgrove Hall Films’ stop-motion animated puppet series which ran from 1983-1990.