Mike Newell opening The Box Of Delights

Cult kids’ novel off to cinemas

Mike Newell has signed on to direct an adaptation of John Masefield’s 1930s kids’ book The Box Of Delights.

Millions scribe Frank Cottrel Boyce has been hired by bankrollers Brilliant Films to write an adaptation of the story, which finds a young lad entrusted with the titular box, bursting with magic that allows him to time travel and sparks other fun adventures.

Readers of a certain age will remember that it became a big hit as a BBC tea time drama (below) back in 1984, and even older types might recall the radio play version.

Newell, is apparently one of them… “I first heard Box Of Delights as a radio play on the BBC when I was a boy in a freezing, mostly dark-brown England where the radio sets were huge and the whole country seemed to be lit with a single 40 Watt bulb," he tells Variety, presumably with the Hovis bread advert music playing in the background.

"I was immediately seduced by the tingling, opening harp music and the fantastical, mysterious, magic story that followed."

Once Newell has finished up work on Prince Of Persia for Jerry Bruckheimer, he’ll crack into the box.

[Source: Variety]

Any other beloved kids’ stories you want to see on screen?