Redwall Animation

In October (2003), Publishers Weekly ran an article by Shannon Maughan (The Kids Stay In The Picture) which focused on the fact that the trend of producing family films based on children’s books is on the rise (the Harry Potter films being a prime example). The article covers a lot of ground, but there is one specific area that is of interest to Redwallers (emphasis mine):

The Gotham Group, an agency in L.A. that represents a varied roster of family entertainment talent as well as Simon & Schuster’s children’s catalogue and backlist for film rights, keeps an eye out for “books that can be big animated motion pictures or books that can be family films ranging from Holes to Harry Potter,” according to Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Gotham’s founder and president. In recent months Gotham’s Julie Kane-Ritsch has noticed that “studios and producers are more open to book projects for animation.” A bulging roster of active projects at Gotham includes a big-screen adaptation of Brian Jacques’s Redwall series with Andrew Marlowe (Air Force One) working on a screenplay (Nelvana holds the rights), and a feature film development for the Frannie K. Stein, Mad Scientist book series by James Benton (S&S).

I am currently tracking down the specifics of this deal. The fact that a name is already attached to a screenplay is heartening and could suggest that it’s only a matter of time before we see Redwall in theatres.

Andrew Marlowe’s past credits include Hollow Man (screenplay & story), End of Days (writer), Air Force One (writer), and two episodes of the 1994 television series Viper (as co-writer). He is, perhaps, an odd choice for tackling the adaptation of Redwall, but we should reserve judgment until we see what he can do.

For complete information on the Redwall Television Series, which adapts Redwall, Mattimeo, and Martin the Warrior, visit our affiliate, RWTV: Redwall on TV.

I recently contacted Jocelyn Hamilton, one of the TV series’ Supervising Producers, to see what the status of the show was. The response I received was as follows:

“We are prepared to produce another season if it is financially feasible. At the moment, we cannot get an American broadcaster to take notice and help finance a fourth season. We all love working on this series especially since we are able to make a new book each season. It’s never dull. The short answer is that we will only be able to make this series again if broadcasters buy it and back it.”

So, as things currently stand, no fourth season is in production and that’s unlikely to change unless, through a miraculous twist of fate, an American broadcaster decides to help with the funding.

For a time there was talk of bring Redwall to the big-screen. The first Redwall movie was reported to adapt Martin the Warrior (MTW has since become season three of the television series).

In 1999, Brian Jacques said of the movie:

“The Movie is in the very early stages of Script writing.”

[when asked if they want to do the movies in chronological order he said]

“We hope so!”

That version of the movie project was shelved, however, as Nelvana concentrated on the new television seasons. However, since then, word has broken that the L.A.-based Gotham Group is pursuing a theatrical “Redwall” movie (see above), with a screenplay written by Andrew Marlowe, not Brian Jacques.

During the 3/20/01 webcast, Brian was asked about the future of the movies. His response:

That’s one thing I’ll let the movie producers worry about. The television people, the…. all the wheeler-dealers of the business. My job is to write the books. It would be nice to see it come out as a movie, eh, provided…. provided that we had the integrity. Somewhere down the line, there will be a movie, but I won’t lose sleep. I’ll carry on writing.

In a 2/02 “Ask Brian” feature on, Brian was asked if we would see a Redwall movie sometime within the next five years. His response was:


About the Author

Martin has been active in Redwall fandom for many years, founding The Long Patrol in 1996, The Redwall Newsline in 1997, and RWTV: Redwall on TV in 2001. He will be covering Redwall news as long as there is Redwall news to cover.