‘White Horse’ rides to pre-prod’n

Budget for pic around $25 mil

Britain’s Spice Factory and Gotham-based Forgan-Smith Entertainment are hitching a ride on “The Little White Horse,” a kidpic based on the eponymous novel by Elizabeth Goudge.

Project, which was unveiled Thursday in Cannes, is due to start pre-production in Blighty next spring.

Published in 1946, tome is set in the 1840s and centers on the adventures of a 13-year-old orphan who is called on to save the inhabitants of a mysterious manor from a curse that would consign them to watery graves.

Spice Factory managing director Jason Piette said British director John Hay (“There’s Only One Jimmy Grimble”) is keen to helm the pic but there’s no deal yet.

Piette said it’s likely the script will be co-written by Hay and Spice Factory’s director of development Lucy

Shuttleworth. He envisions a budget of around $25 million.

Shuttleworth loved the book as a child and was keen to acquire the film rights after she joined Spice Factory. When she discovered the rights were owned by Forgan-Smith, the two parties decided to work together on the project.

Arclight Films, in which Spice Factory has a 15% stake, will handle worldwide sales.

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