After much speculation, and a few false reports, director Steven Spielberg has finally picked his next film, an adaptation of the children’s novel War Horse. Written by Michael Morpurgo, War Horse follows the adventures of Joey, a farm horse who is sold by his owner to the British army for service on World War One’s Western Front.
Since the book is told in the first person and deals with Joey’s reactions to the horrors of war surrounding him and his longing to return home to his master, I have to admit a bit of disappointment over this choice, as it sounds like a variation on themes Spielberg already explored in Saving Private Ryan. Of course, a description of ET could be made to sound like a retread of Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, so who knows?
Although the last Spielberg film we have seen was 2008’s Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, Spielberg has been spending much of the intervening time working on the motion capture animated film The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret Of The Unicorn due for release next year.
Spielberg had been circling a number of projects he has had in development, including his long-planned biopic of Abraham Lincoln, biopics of Martin Luther King Jr. and George Gershwin and adaptations of the books Flowers Of Algernon, The 39 Clues and author Michael Crichton’s last novel Pirate Latitudes.
War Horse is currently set to hit theaters on August 10, 2011.