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Black Beauty, a classic novel by Anna Sewell, is slated for a Disney Plus adaptation in late 2020.
Kate Winslet will lend her voice to the lead steed, also starring Mackenzie Foy, Iain Glen, and Claire Forlani.
Black Beauty was written in 1871 during Sewell’s final years and was the only book she had ever written. Due to an ankle injury at age fourteen, she relied on horse-drawn carriages for transportation, inspiring her admiration for horses. The novel, narrated by wild horse Black Beauty, discusses his life from beginning to end with moral lessons along the way. It heavily promotes animal rights and even initiated legislation against abuse toward horses in England and the United States. As Sewell writes in the book:
My doctrine is this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt.
Disney’s take on the classic chronicles the capture of Black Beauty as she is taken from her family. She finds companionship in Jo Green, a teenager who has lost her parents. The shared experience allows them to find strength in one another.
The screenplay will be written and directed by Ashley Avis, who previously directed Adolescence, with production by Jeremy Bolt and Robert Kulzer.
Although the novel was not strictly created for children, it is a cherished story for many and will surely make its way into the hearts of Disney fans and animal lovers.
Featured image via screencrush
Anna Sewell’s classic 1877 novel Black Beauty is getting a film adaptation, and Mackenzie Foy and Kate Winslet have been added to the cast. Within in the last years of her life, Anna Sewell was living alone when she wrote Black Beauty. It was published in 1877 and came an immediate best seller. Thankfully, Anna Sewell saw its success before dying in 1878 at the age of fifty-eight, just five months after its publication.
A first person narrative, the novel follows the titular horse named Black Beauty as she goes through trials and tribulations, all the while keeping alive a bond between a seventeen-year-old girl who recently lost both her parents.
Adolescence director Ashley Avis will be directing Black Beauty, adapting her own script based on the novel. Hollywood Reporter notes that “[i]n a significant change from Sewell’s book, in which Black Beauty is a carriage horse, in the new adaptation, she is a a wild mustang captured on the Wyoming Plains.”
Perhaps this change will add a little spice to this adaption, which this over hundred year old story desperately needs considering it is already been adapted multiple times for both film and television. The most recent version was back in 1994 which starred Sean Bean, star from The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, and David Thewlis, known for his role in the Harry Potter film series and Professor Lupin and Ares in Wonder Woman. Alan Cumming, who played Nightcrawler in X2: X-Men United, was the voice of the horse.
In related news, Kate Winslet, of Titanic fame, who also won an Oscar for her performance in The Reader, will be the voice of the horse. Kate Winslet has done voice acting before, notably in the family classic Flushed Away. Variety reports that Mackenzie Foy, whose been in the last two Twilight movies, The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, and Interstellar will play Jo, the young girl who befriends Beauty.
Image Via Hollywood Reporter
Producing the film will be Jeremy Bolt and Robert Kulzer, who teamed on the Resident Evil franchise. Martin Moszkowicz will serve as the executive producer. Previously he was the producer on 3096 Days and Crazy Heart.
According to Deadline, “Bolt Pictures and Constantin Film are teaming to produce the pic, which will mirror the events of the original 1877 book while bringing them into a modern light”. Currently, the film is in pre-production. Interestingly, Deadline also wrote that “…Constantin said Tuesday it is bringing to the Cannes market beginning next week,” apparently to secure funding.
Let’s hope they get it!
Featured Image Via Deadline