Screenwriter John August (Frankenweenie 2012, Corpse Bride, Titan AE) has been tapped to bring a fresh Oz adventure to the screen in Warner Animation Group’s musical animated feature Toto. The project is based on acclaimed author Michael Morpurgo’s book Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz, illustrated by Emma Chichester, which retells L. Frank Baum’s classic adventure from the little dog’s POV. Jared Stern’s A Stern Talking To is attached to produce.
August’s most recent hit was Disney’s billion-dollar live-action remake of Aladdin last year, which he co-wrote with director Guy Ritchie. In addition to animated titles, he also worked with Tim Burton on live-action films Big Fish and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He is currently in development on another high-profile musical project, the Grease prequel Summer Nights (Paramount Players).
He earned a BAFTA nomination for the adapted screenplay for Big Fish, and an Annie nom for writing Frankenweenie; August and Danny Elfman were also nominated for a motion-picture song Grammy for “Wonka’s Welcome Song” (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). He was the recipient of the Writers Guild’s Valentine DAvies Award in 2016.
The writer has also authored a trilogy of best-selling middle-grade fantasy novels: Arlo Finch in the Valley of Fire, Arlo Finch in the Lake of the Moon and Arlo Finch in the Kingdom of Shadows. He is represented by Verve and Hansen Jacobson.