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Mike Newell opens magic ‘Box’

Director signs on to helm kiddie classic

LONDON — Brit Mike Newell will direct “The Box of Delights,” based on John Masefield’s classic 1930s children’s novel about a boy entrusted with a magic box that allows him to travel through time.

Brit shingle Brilliant Films is funding development of the feature, which Frank Cottrell Boyce (“Millions”) is adapting.

Sarah Radclyffe, Courtney Pledger and Esther Douglas are attached to produce with Brilliant Films’ Joe Abrams and Rory Gilmartin receiving exec producer credits alongside Newell.

Newell is completing post-production on “Prince of Persia” and previously helmed “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”

“Box of Delights” was adapted as a BBC TV skein in 1984 as well as an earlier radio play.

“I first heard ‘Box of Delights’ as a radio play on the BBC when I was a boy,” Newell said. “I was immediately seduced by the tingling, opening harp music and the fantastical, mysterious, magic story that followed.”

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