Ashley Avis (Adolescence) has written the screenplay and will direct the contemporary adaptation of English author Anna Sewell’s classic 19th century novel. Cameras roll this week in and around Cape Town, South Africa.
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Mister Smith Entertainment is handling international sales on the modern-day reimagining of the story in which Black Beauty (voiced by Winslet) is a wild horse born free in the American west. As she is rounded up and taken away from her family, her story intertwines with that of a teenager, ‘Jo Green’ (Foy), similarly grieving over the loss of her parents. The two develop a bond crafted in love, trust and healing.
Pic is a Constantin Film production, produced by Jeremy Bolt (Resident Evil franchise) from JB Pictures, and Constantin Film’s Robert Kulzer (Polar). Martin Moszkowicz, Edward Winters and Jon Brown serve as executive producers. Dylan Tarason co-produces, and Moonlighting Films president Genevieve Hofmeyr (Mad Max: Fury Road) is the South African producer.
The creative team includes DoP David Procter (Red Sands), production designer Darryl Hammer (The Widow), costume designer Neil McClean (The Scorpion King: Book Of Souls) and stunt rider Elbrus Ourtaev (10,000 BC) who is training the horses alongside Cody Rawson-Harris (The Light Between Oceans). The film will shoot for six weeks.
Forlani most recently starred in UK crime-drama series Departure. Glen recently starred as Jorah Mormont in all eight seasons of Game Of Thrones and played Dr. Isaacs in Constantin’s hit Resident Evil film franchise.
Avis said of the production, “The opportunity to bring Black Beauty to life is a merger of two great passions for me as both a filmmaker and longtime equestrian. I’m honored to embark on this journey to create a lyrically beautiful, emotionally driven film with a seminal cast, and a passionate creative team in Jeremy and Robert. I look forward to exploring the powerful messages of Anna Sewell’s classic text, which inspired my love of horses decades ago, with the audiences of today.”
Producer Jeremy Bolt added, “It has been a dream of mine to make this movie for ten years and in Ashley I found the sensitivity, love of horses and emotional depth to realize the dream.”
Constantin producer Robert Kulzer commented, “We are always looking for projects that promise an immersive, emotional experience. Ashley’s vision of Beauty’s journey and her encounters has that potential.”