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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Production has commenced at Pinewood Studios outside London on The One and Only Ivan, a live-action/CG hybrid adaptation of the children’s book by Katherine Applegate directed by Thea Sharrock (Me Before You). The screenplay is by two-time Independent Spirit Award winner Mike White (Pitch Perfect 3, The School of Rock) based on Applegate’s award-winning book.

Signed on to the film’s cast are Danny DeVito and Helen Mirren, who will join the vocal talents of Angelina Jolie, Sam Rockwell, Brooklynn Prince, Indira Varma and Eleanor Matsuura. Also starring in the flick are Bryan Cranston, Ramon Rodriquez, Arianna Greenblatt, Indira Varma, and Eleanor Matsuura.

Based on the true story of a uniquely-talented gorilla and the other animals who share a communal habitat at a suburban shopping mall, The One and Only Ivan is an unforgettable tale about the beauty of friendship, the power of visualization and the significance of the place we call home. Applegate’s book, a #1 New York Times’ bestseller, has won numerous awards, including the Newberry Medal for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children in 2013.

Here is the official synopsis for the book:

“Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this novel is told from the point of view of Ivan himself.

Having spent 27 years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.”

The One and Only Ivan seems like the type of film that would sit right alongside upcoming Disney flicks like Christopher Robin and Mary Poppins Returns, though we’ll see if the film turns out as good as the novel.

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SOURCE: Disney

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.