The Redwall series of YA fantasy novels from author Brian Jacques have become touchstones of the genre, published for 25 years between 1986 and 2011. Chronicling an endless series of heroic wars between valorous mice and other small woodland animals and the hordes of evil vermin led by rats, weasels and badgers, the series could be seen as something like a more wholesome and goodhearted Game of Thrones, filled with battles, feasting and romance. And now, you can add “a Netflix feature film” to those accolades.
The world’s largest streamer announced Wednesday that it would begin adapting the long Redwall (22 books) into animated feature films and an event TV series, with at least one film and a series to begin with. The film would presumably draw inspiration from the eponymous first book in the franchise, while the event series would follow the beloved character Martin the Warrior. The new projects come thanks to a rights deal between Netflix and Penguin Random House Children, making this the first time the rights to all adaptations have been held in the same place. There has never been a Redwall feature film, although an animated series aired in Canada for three seasons starting in 1999. Jacques himself passed away in 2011.
Of particular interest to animation fans should be the fact that Netflix has reportedly signed up Patrick McHale, the creator of Cartoon Network’s Over the Garden Wall, to write the Redwall feature film—and hopefully be involved in its production. There may not be a better animated limited series to have come along in the last decade than the adventures of Wirt and Greg, so it gives us confidence that Redwall will be in good hands.
“We couldn’t be more delighted to announce this deal,” said Ben Horslen of Penguin Random House Children’s in a statement. “These perennially popular stories have been etched onto the hearts of millions of readers, and we are thrilled to partner with Netflix to bring those beloved characters on screen for families worldwide to enjoy.”