Netflix is adapting a classic series of books into movies and TV shows. The streaming service has landed the rights to Brian Jacques’ Redwall book series. They will be reimagined on screen following a rights deal between Penguin Random House Children’s UK and Netflix. This marks the first time that the rights to the entire series of books have been held by one company.
For starters, a movie based on Brian Jacques’ first book in the series, Redwall, is currently in development. Writer Patrick McHale (Over the Garden Wall, Pinocchio). Additionally, Netflix is working on an event series based on the character of Martin the Warrior. The movie is more significant as it will be the first time that a feature based on any of his works has been produced. Netflix, to go along with the announcement, released an initial piece of artwork. Ben Horslen, Fiction Publisher at Penguin Random House Children’s, had this to say.
“We couldn’t be more delighted to announce this deal. These perennially popular stories have been etched onto the hearts of millions of readers, and we are thrilled to partner with Netflix to bring those beloved characters on screen for families worldwide to enjoy.”
The books chronicle the adventures of the heroic animals that inhabit the forest haven of Redwall Abbey. The first novel was published in 1986, with 21 more to come in the years that followed. They have sold more than 30 million copies and been translated into more than 20 languages. Brian Jaques passed away in 2011. Alan Ingram, a representative of The Redwall Abbey Company, the owner of Jacques’ intellectual property, had this to say.
“Brian often travelled the globe to tell his Redwall stories to young audiences, more often than not at their schools. Brian would have been very happy to see that Netflix shares his joy and desire to bring his stories to life as a new universe of films, series and potentially much more for audiences of all ages to enjoy. We are very excited to embark on this new endeavour with Netflix and Penguin Random House UK.”
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Regardless, Netflix has proven to have deep pockets and they also, like every other streaming service now flooding the market, need marquee content to keep subscribers around. Given the massive audience for these books around the world, it seems like this could turn into a wide-ranging franchise, one with an awful lot of source material to pull from.
Redwall joins Netflix’s rapidly-growing list of animated features. This list includes Academy Award-nominated Klaus, Kris Pearn’s The Willoughbys and Oscar-winner Glen Keane’s Over the Moon. Starting later this year they have Back to the Outback, Richard Linklater’s Apollo 10 &½: A Space Age Adventure, Chris Williams’ The Sea Beast, Henry Selick’s Wendell & Wild, Nora Twomey’s My Father’s Dragon, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Wendy Rogers’ The Magician’s Elephant, Minkyu Lee’s The Witch Boy, and Chicken Run 2. Be sure to check out the artwork from Netflix’s NX Twitter account.