Spielberg to make film of 'War Horse'

It is already a popular children's book and a hit on the London stage. Now Steven Spielberg is taking War Horse to the big screen.

The director saw the stage version in March, several months after he purchased the rights to Michael Morpurgo's book last year. Yesterday, it was confirmed that he will direct the project himself.

War Horse centres on the tale of a young Devon farmhand who enters the First World War trenches in search of Joey, his beloved colt.

Spielberg's DreamWorks Studios and distribution partner Disney are aiming to release the film in August next year, which means it is likely to arrive in cinemas before Spielberg's 3D venture The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn.

Some of Spielberg's other projects will remain on the back burner, including his proposed biopics of Abraham Lincoln and the composer George Gershwin, as well as the sci-fi tale Robocalypse.

War Horse will transfer to Broadway next year after a successful three-year run in London. It has attracted much praise, especially for its innovative use of giant puppets to depict the horses, and is currently booking at the New London Theatre until February 2011.

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