Film director Richard Curtis has signed a deal with Locksmith Animation to create an animated feature based on his festive children's books, in a project described as "Love Actually for kids".
Locksmith Animation is creating an animated feature for digital platforms based on a series of Christmas children’s books by the "Love Actually" director under the title "The Empty Stocking". Curtis and Peter Souter will write the screenplay.
The three books in the series published by Puffin, The Empty Stocking (2013), Snow Day (2015) and the forthcoming That Christmas, each tell a family story which takes place in the run up to Christmas, in a rural coastal town based on Curtis’s home. The stories will be interwoven to create what Locksmith describes as “Love Actually for kids.”
Veteran producer Bonnie Arnold, ("How to Train Your Dragon", "Toy Story", "Tarzan") will join Locksmith heads Sarah Smith and Julie Lockhart to oversee the project. Locksmith will partner with Curtis and his team, which includes illustrator Rebecca Cobb, executive Colin Hopkins and writer Souter.
“It’s been such a pleasure writing these books – with Rebecca Cobb’s wonderful drawings – that I’m thrilled about the idea of turning them into a film,” said Curtis. “When I was young 'Charlie Brown’s Christmas' was my favourite Christmas thing – and I love the idea of making something that might be a joy at Christmas. I hope we can make it funny and touching and conjure up some of the magic that Christmas movies have always done for me and my family.”
"The Empty Stocking" marks the first animated feature project for Curtis, the award-winning UK writer and director, whose hit films – including "Yesterday", "Love Actually", "Four Weddings and a Funeral", "Notting Hill", and "About Time" – have amassed a total box office of over $2.5bn worldwide.
Smith added: “We are thrilled to be working with iconic British talent like Richard, of whom we are perennial fans, and delighted to be partnering on this utterly charming and unique material. It is a perfect opportunity to expand Locksmith’s stories into new formats, and forge new relationships with digital platforms.”