Although a big screen version was said to be in the works at Paramount Pictures a few years back, Deadline is today reporting that MGM has now secured the rights to develop a theatrical take on Robert C. O’Brien’s enduring children’s classic, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.
Published in 1971 with accompanying illustrations by Zena Bernstein, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH follows the titular Mrs. Frisby, a recently-widowed field mouse who faces impossible odds in the quest to move her family before a farmer’s plow comes through. The text was famously adapted as an animated film, The Secret of NIMH, by Don Bluth in 1982.
MGM has set Ice Age 5 scribe Michael Berg to script the new film, which is being planned as a live-action/CGI hybrid. Daniel Bobker and Ehren Kruger are producing in the hopes of developing a successful film franchise.
O’Brien authored a sequel to his original book, Racso and the Rats of NIMH, which was published in 1986. R-T, Margaret, and the Rats of NIMH, a third book, was written in 1990 by O’Brien’s daughter, Jane Leslie Conly. The animated film version, meanwhile, received its own direct-to-video sequel in 1998 with The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue.