Redwall books to get new animated film and series adaptations on Netflix
The world of Redwall is coming to life once again, this time by way of Netflix.
The streaming giant and Penguin Random House Children's UK have secured a new rights deal for the entire 22-book saga of Redwall, the kids fantasy series by the late British author Brian Jacques. Work is already under way on two adaptations.
The books, beginning with 1986's Redwall, tell of the anthropomorphic mice, moles, hares, badgers, and other woodland animals of Redwall Abbey and the surrounding Mossflower Wood countryside as they become defending warriors against rats, weasels, foxes, and other marauders.
The first adaptation, titled Redwall, is an animated film based on that first book in Jacques' series. Patrick McHale, who wrote the screenplay for Guillermo del Toro's stop-motion Pinocchio (another Netflix joint), is writing the feature. Netflix shared a piece of visual development imagery from artist Pierre Breton (shown below).
The second adaptation is an event series based on the character Martin the Warrior, who headlined the sixth Redwall book.
This deal marks the first time the same company has held the film rights to the entire book series, and it's the first time a feature film of any of Jacques' works will be made.
"Brian often travelled the globe to tell his Redwall stories to young audiences, more often than not at their schools," Alan Ingram, a representative of The Redwall Abbey Company, which owns Jacques' intellectual property, said in a statement. "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 endeavor with Netflix and Penguin Random House UK."
An animated Redwall TV series previously ran for three seasons starting in 1999. Last year, the video game world got a crack at the material when the first installment of The Lost Legends of Redwall, an episodic game series, debuted in Feb. 2020 from Soma Games, The Redwall Abbey Company Ltd., and Penguin Random House UK.
Redwall is the latest move by Netflix to beef up the platform's animated offerings. The company recently snagged The Mitchells vs. the Machines (formerly titled Connected) from Sony and a movie version of The Witch Boy with music by Haim that was once set up at Fox prior to Disney's acquisition of the studio. Among the recent string of announcements, Netflix is also planning for a new Sonic the Hedgehog animated series in 2022.
"We couldn't be more delighted to announce this deal," said Ben Horslen, fiction publisher at Penguin Random House Children's. "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."