New live-action adaptation of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH in development

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May 2, 2017, 1:37 PM EDT (Updated)

When veteran Disney animator Don Bluth (An American Tale, The Land Before Time) broke away from the authoritarian clutches of Disney in 1979, one of the first independent projects he tackled was The Secret of NIMH (1982), an ambitious adaptation of the celebrated 1971 children's book by Robert C. O'Brien, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. The film marked a return to the classic style of hand-drawn animation that was faltering over at the understaffed Disney factory, and I must have watched it dozens of times as it frequently aired on HBO.

A new adaptation of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, simply titled The Rats of NIMH, is currently in development at MGM, which will feature live-action and CGI to retell the touching story of Mrs. Frisby, her family of precocious field mice and the genetically-altered rats from the National Institute of Mental Health labs.

Newbie director James Madigan, fresh off a second-unit directing gig for Meg, the Jason Statham-starring prehistoric shark flick, has been signed to captain the franchise-launching project, with Ice Age 5 writer Michael Berg set to pen the script and Daniel Bobker and Ehren Kruger acting as executive producers.

This will be a new interpretation of the book and may include material from the 1986 sequel written by O'Brien, Racso and the Rats of NIMH.

Are you excited for a return to the fertile fields of Mrs. Frisby?

(via Coming Soon)