‘Wind in the Willows’ Movie in the Works With Julian Fellowes

Julian Fellowes, the writer and creator of “Downton Abbey,“ has teamed up with producer Gerald R. Molen on a big-screen production of the classic children’s novel “The Wind in the Willows.”

Peter Jackson’s Weta Digital is on board for the CGI for the four main characters — Mole, Rat, Toad and Badger — who live by a river in Edwardian England, in the Kenneth Grahame novel. The project comes four years after a musical version of “The Wind in the Willows“ premiered in the U.K., with Fellowes having written the script, with music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.

Molen, who won an Academy Award with Steven Spielberg for producing “Schindler’s List,” has hired Ray Griggs and Richard Taylor at Weta Workshop, in coordination with Jackson’s Weta Digital.

Filming will take place at Jackson’s Stone Street Studios in New Zealand, while Skywalker Sound will design all the sound effects and ambient noise.

“We are finalizing some of the finest actors to lend their creative and vocal talents,” Molen said. “We could not have dreamed of a better writer and creative force than Julian Fellowes to work with Ray Griggs to bring to life the classic English novel’s characters, nor finer visionaries than Weta to capture the look and feel of Grahame’s world.”

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Molen’s production company, Kindred Images, has partnered with Bill Melendez Productions in London, the creative house behind the “Peanuts” productions, to co-produce.

“We have all the right pieces to create what will prove to be the definitive adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s classic,” Molen said.

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