Daily Variety reports that Disney has tapped a screenwriter to script an English-language feature based on Kiki’s Delivery Service, a Japanese kid lit series that became Hayao Miyazaki’s celebrated 1989 animated feature of the same name.
Eiko Kadano Kiki’s Delivery Service books follow a spunky 13-year-old witch who has a talking cat and uses her flying broom to make deliveries for the local bakery. Miyazaki’s critically acclaimed film was the first big hit for his Studio Ghibli, which went on to produce his Oscar-winning Spirited Away and the new Howl’s Moving Castle, among others.
Disney released an English-dubbed version of Miyazaki’s original pic on DVD with a voice cast that includes Spider-Man‘s Kirsten Dunst, late comedian Phil Hartman, stage and screen great Debbie Reynolds and actress/comedian Janeane Garofalo.
Judging by the producers attached, the property will most likely be developed as a live-action saga with CG effects like Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter series. The project will be spearheaded by Scottish producer Susan Montford and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen producer/exec producer team of Don Murphy and Mark Gordon.
If the new Kiki is to be animated, it’ll be a gutsy move to try and remake a film by an artist who’s considered the Walt Disney of Japan. The task of penning the new screenplay has fallen on Jeff Stockwell, who wrote 2003’s animation-infused indie pic, The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys.