EXCLUSIVE: Kids’ adventure book Wed Wabbit is to be turned into a family feature film after Elisabeth Murdoch-backed animation studio Locksmith Animation optioned the book.
Wed Wabbit, written by Lissa Evans, follows a ten-year-old girl, Fidge, who lives with her dippy mother and four-year-old sister Minnie and is obsessed her furry red toy rabbit and a book about multi-colored creatures known as Wimbley Woos.
However, when her sister is involved in a car accident, Fidge is sent to live with her strange cousin Graham and she subsequently falls into the basement and into Wimbley Land, where the Wimbley Woos live and are ruled by a dictator that bears a striking similarity to her furry red toy rabbit. She and Graham must try and solve the Wimbley Woos’ riddles and find their way out of the basement.
The film is being eyed as a hybrid live-action and animation. It is the latest Evans’ book to be developed as a feature film after her book Their Finest Hour and a Half, about a group of Soho-based advertising execs during WWII, was turned into BBC Films’ Their Finest starring Gemma Arterton and Bill Nighy.
The film may be produced in partnership with Twentieth Century Fox Film after the U.S. studio struck a deal with the UK firm last year. If so, it would be Locksmith’s second animated feature under the multi-picture deal with Fox after the two set up Ron’s Gone Wrong with co-directors Alessandro Carloni (Kung Fu Panda 3) and Pixar Story vet J.P. Vine (Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur). Locksmith and Fox are expected to release one animated film every year / 18 months with the UK based studio developing and producing projects with Double Negative providing digital production and Fox releasing.
Locksmith Animation co-CEO Sarah Smith said: “Lissa’s children’s books are absolute page-turners and passionate favorites among kids. The hilarious, magical and wildly inventive Wed Wabbit is unlike anything I’ve come across, an instant classic in the making, and built on a bedrock of truth about the rub in sibling relationships. It’s a fabulously imaginative canvas for a collaboration with Locksmith’s visual and story artists and as the parent of a Wed Wabbit devotee I couldn’t be more excited to work on bringing it to the big screen.”
Evans is represented by Georgia Garrett of Rogers, Coleridge and White. David Fickling Books handles book rights for Wed Wabbit.