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.