Dreamworks studios acquires rights to the book “war horse”

LOS ANGELES, CA (December 19, 2009) - DreamWorks Studios has acquired the rights to the book, “War Horse,” it was announced today by DreamWorks partners Stacey Snider and Steven Spielberg. Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Revel Guest will produce the dramatic adventure set during World War I. Lee Hall has been set to write the screenplay.

“War Horse” was written by Michael Morpurgo and is published by Egmont Press . It was first published by Kaye & Ward in 1982. That same year it was a runner-up for the prestigious Whitbread Award.

The book recounts the epic tale of an extraordinary friendship between a boy and a horse, who are separated, but whose fates continue to be intertwined over the course of World War I.

“From the moment I read Michael Morpurgo’s novel ‘War Horse’ I knew this was a film I wanted DreamWorks to make,” said Steven Spielberg. “Its heart and its message provide a story that can be felt in every country.”

“’War Horse’ is an incredibly powerful story and everyone at DreamWorks is proud to be working again with Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall as well as Revel Guest and Lee Hall,” said Stacey Snider.

“I am so happy to be producing another film in conjunction with my good friends Steven and Stacey,” said Kathleen Kennedy. “We have enjoyed many exciting projects at various companies over the years but it will be a special pleasure to be together for this one, at DreamWorks.”

Lee Hall wrote the screenplay for the 2000 film “Billy Elliot” for which he received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. He also wrote the book and lyrics for the stage musical adaptation of the film which received 15 Tony nominations of which it won 10 including a personal win for Hall for Best Book of a Musical.

Michael Morpurgo is the best-selling author of over 120 books for children including, “Kensuke’s Kingdom,” “Private Peaceful” and “War Horse.” Michael was Children’s Laureate from 2003-2005 and was awarded an OBE for services to literature in 2007. His latest novel is “Running Wild” published in September 2009 by Harper Collins.

About DreamWorks Studios DreamWorks Studios is a motion picture company led by Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider in partnership with The Reliance Group. The new company is a continuation of DreamWorks Studios which was formed in 1994 by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen. The company expects to put into production 5 to 6 films per year.

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