Blockbuster filmmaker Steven Spielberg announced earlier this month that his next directorial project would be an adaptation of the acclaimed children's book War Horse. It now looks as though he's already found his lead for the film in the form of British performer Eddie Redmayne.
War Horse tells the story of a young man named Albert whose horse Joey is sold to the army's cavalry and shipped overseas to partake in World War I. Albert - who is not yet of age and cannot enlist - then travels overseas to France in the hopes of rescuing his beloved friend.
The film is scheduled for release in August of 2011, just a few months before Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn arrives in time for the holiday season. That would mark the fifth time that the director has released both a big-budget popcorn flick and a more artistic effort in the same year, an impressive feat that he first pulled off in 1993 (Jurassic Park and Schindler's List), then again in 1997 (The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Amistad), in 2002 (Minority Report and Catch Me If You Can) and most recently in 2005 (War of the Worlds and Munich).
On top of his directorial projects, the Spielberg-produced TV show Terra Nova will debut in spring 2011 while Transformers 3 arrives in theaters next summer as well. Like him or hate him, you cannot deny that the legendary auteur is quite the hardworking man.
Although several of Spielberg's previous dramatic films have featured a fairly well known and/or acclaimed actor in the lead - Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan, Liam Neeson in Schindler's List - the casting of Redmayne in War Horse would not be an unprecedented move on the director's part. A thirteen-year-old Christian Bale starred as the lead in Spielberg's 1987 film, Empire of the Sun and was greeted with a generally positive critical reception.
Redmayne already has some solid credentials on his resume. His performance in the 2007 film Saving Grace was given high critical marks, as were his turns in the Kristen Stewart indie feature The Yellow Handkerchief and the Scarlett Johansson period drama The Other Boleyn Girl. Hopefully he'll make for a moving protagonist in Spielberg's new film.
What do you think? Does it sound like Spielberg has another winner on his hands with War Horse? Is Eddi Redmayne a good leading man? Sound off in the comments section below.
War Horse is scheduled for release on August 10th, 2011.
Source: The Playlist