(Lucy Bannerman's article appeared in The Times of London, 12/22.)


Theatre hit heads for Hollywood as Steven Spielberg buys War Horse rights

War Horse, the children’s story that became a huge West End hit, is galloping towards the silver screen after it emerged yesterday that Steven Spielberg has bought the film rights.

Theatre audiences have been mesmerised by the tale of a boy who braves the trenches of the First World War in the hope of finding his beloved horse. Michael Morpurgo, who wrote War Horse in 1982, welcomed news that his story was being developed by the director. “I can think of no one better to do this,” he told the London Evening Standard yesterday. “It is so exciting. I only just learnt this in the last two days. After such a fantastic success with the play, it needs someone of his imagination and skill at turning books into great visual experiences for the film version.”

The film rights to the 1982 novel have been acquired by Spielberg’s DreamWorks Studios. The director said that he had been deeply moved by the story of a young boy from Devon who follows the horse to the Western Front in 1914.

He added that he had known that he wanted to make the story into a film from the moment he read it. “Its heart and its message provide a story that can be felt in every country,” he said.

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