Weta Workshop Signs On For A Wild Ride With <i>The Wind In The Willows</i>

Peter Jackson's visual-effects company Weta Workshop has signed on to an adaptation of the classic children's story The Wind in the Willows, set to begin production this fall in New Zealand.

Directed and produced by Ray Griggs (Super Capers, I Want Your Money), the $30-million production will combine live action and animatronics. Weta's Richard Taylor will handle special effects, while Kim Sinclair will serve as production designer.

The 1908 novel by Kenneth Grahame blends adventure, morality and mysticism to tell a tale about four anthropomorphized animals -- Mole, Ratty (actually a water vole), Mr. Toad and Mr. Badger -- in a pastoral English setting. The book has been adapted numerous times for stage and screen, most notably in 1949 by Walt Disney, from 1984 to 1987 by Cosgrove Hall, and in 1996 by Terry Jones.

Variety reports that in the new adaptation, written by Bill Marsilii (Deja Vu), "the animals join forces to save their land from a sinister plot that threatens to destroy the uneasy truce between the peaceful animals of the Willows and what remains of Mankind."

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