Jim Henson’s Creature Shop will be teaming up with Capitol Films for a big-screen adaptation of Edith Nesbit’s classic 1902 novel Five Children and It, according to Daily Variety. The film is to be directed be Creature Shop president John Stephenson and will star Kenneth Branagh, Eddie Izzard and Freddie Highmore.
Budgeted for $20 million movie, the film centers on five siblings who are sent to stay with their uncle (Branagh) in a strange seaside house. That’s where they meet a grouchy 8,000-year-old Psammead, or sand fairy, voiced by Izzard, who grants them one wish a day. As it’s usually the case with wishes in stories, the consequences are never quite what the children intend.
The film will begin shooting in July and will blend live action with animatronics and CGI. The setting will be considerably updated from the book’s original period, but it will not be explicitly contemporary. David Solomon is adapting the book, and Nick Hirschkorn and Lisa Henson are billed as the film’s producers.