EXCLUSIVE: Sally Hawkins (The Shape Of Water), Cillian Murphy (Inception), Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai) and Raffey Cassidy (The Killing Of A Sacred Deer) are to voice the animated adaptation of War Horse scribe Michael Morpurgo’s novel Kensuke’s Kingdom.

The children’s book tells the story of Michael, who is taken by his family on a round-the-world sailing trip. When a storm strikes he is washed overboard and ends up on a remote island in the Pacific where he struggles to survive on his own. He soon realizes there is someone close by, someone who is watching over him and helping him to stay alive.

Sherlock Gnomes animator Neil Boyle and Kirk Hendry (Junk) will direct the adventure story with an ecological message whose script comes from Frank Cottrell-Boyce (The Railway Man). Bankside is handling sales at the EFM and has previously closed pre-sales in France (Le Pacte), China (DDDreams), Switzerland (Praesens) and Middle East (Front Row Entertainment). Pic is currently in pre-production.

Producers are Sarah Radclyffe (My Beautiful Laundrette) and Lupus Films duo Camilla Deakin and Ruth Fielding (Ethel And Earnest), Barnaby Spurrier (Somers Town), and Stephan Roelants (Song Of The Sea).

Executive producers are Bill Godfrey, Courtney Pledger and Tim Morris. Associate producer is Anna Webster. Co-producers are Jigsaw Films, Lupus Films, Melusine Productions and Brennus Productions. The film is a co-production between the UK, Luxembourg and Ireland. Development has been supported by the BFI, Film Fund Luxembourg and Ffilm Cymru Wales.