‘Downton Abbey’ Creator Julian Fellows Is Writing A New Big Screen Adaptation Of ‘The Wind In The Willows’

Wind In the willows header
Image Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

Wind In The Willows headee it comes to the world of childrens literature, there are a number of stone cold classics. Ones that transcend the normal shackles of time, by being passed down from generation to generation. Madeline, Where The Wild Things Are and Winnie The Pooh, spring to mind immediately. Another that rightful deserves a place on that list is Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind In The Willows. Apparently Hollywood agrees to, as the man behind Downton Abbey, Julian Fellow has been tasked with adapting the novel for a new feature film.

Variety broke the new surrounding the involvement of Fellows, who will also serve as producer. The fit is extremely perfect, given that just four years ago he helped write the script for a stage musical based on the same property. He won’t be going in alone though, as the piece also says that Ray Griggs has been hired as director. Which is slightly odd as he’s been attached to various stages of this project, for a decade. Peter Jackson’s Weta Digital will be on board overseeing character animation, while the production will be shot at his Stone Street Studios, in New Zealand.

For those unfamiliar, the story follows the various adventures of four anthropomorphic animals: Mole, Rat, Mr. Toad and Mr. Badger. It’s been highly celebrated for it’s combining of fast moving action, moralistic elements, as well as focus on camaraderie.

This The Wind In The Willows is the latest in a long list of adaptations of the seminal work. Feature films, made-for-tv movies, television shows, stage plays, musicals, you name it. There have been 3-to-4 versions of each, since initially published back in 1908. The most famous variations the average person may be familiar with are the 1983 ITV stop motion film or Disney’s The Adventure of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.

Is this announcement super exciting to you? Do you have a preferred adaptation to this story? Are you more a Frog & Toad kind of person? Shoot us your opinions in the comment section. As for this version of The Wind In The Willows, we’d expect things to go rather smoothly. WETA Digital has an amazing track record and that combined with the pull Fellows has, makes for an extremely fantastic pairing. When more news comes to the surface, you can be sure we’ll be there to cover it!

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