Walden, New Line Take Verne Journey

Having brought author C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe to the screen with Disney, Walden Media is tackling another fantasy literary classic. According to Daily Variety, the company is teaming with New Line Cinema to produce a 3-D version of Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth. Academy Award-winning effects man Eric Brevig (Total Recall) will make his directorial debut with the pic, working form a screenplay by D.V. DeVincentis (High Fidelity).

Scheduled to go into production in April, Journey3-D will be a modern interpretation of the time-honored tale of a teenager and his scientist father who discover a prehistoric world at the earth’s core. In this case, the scientist believes that Verne actually made such a trip and left his original manuscript as a map to the fantastic, subterranean environment. Walden Media CEO Cary Granat tells the trade a major goal of the production is to encourage youngsters to read the book and search for clues in its pages.

The project will be shot using special large-format 3-D cameras, which were previously used in the production of Walden’s Ghosts of the Abyss and Aliens of the Deep, both directed by James Cameron. For Journey, actors will be composited with CG environments and creatures

Journey 3-D will be produced by Charlotte Huggins, a veteran producer of special venue, large-format films such as Wild Safari 3D and S.O.S. Planet. Cale BoyterCale Boyter and Michael Disco will oversee production for New Line, while Alex Schwartz and Evan Turner spearhead efforts for Walden. New Line and Walden are currently in post-production on a cinematic adaptation of Carl Hiaasen’s novel Hoot, and will release their take on the Thomas Rockwell children’s book How to Eat Fried Worms in 2006.