Playwright and scribe Jack Thorne, best known for his work on British TV's Skins and co-creating Cast-Offs, will pen Warner Bros.’ magical adventure movie Mortimer Wintergreen.
Johnny Depp is producing with his Infinitum Nihil partner Christi Dembrowski. John Carls of Wild Things Productions also is producing. Depp might star in the film, subject to script approval and his schedule.
Nanny McPhee Returns director Susanna White is attached to direct.
The project is loosely based on a 1987 novel written by Myron Levoy titled The Magic Hat of Mortimer Wintergreen. Set in the 1890s, the YA book follows a brother and sister who run away from their mean aunt and cross paths with a traveling magician named Mortimer Wintergreen. The man possesses a magical hat with a mind of its own, and the three find themselves on a series of wild adventures.
It is unclear what Thorne’s take on the material is, but Warners previously was developing a version that saw the story as a con man stumbling across a magical hat but finding himself on the run from those who plan to use the object for their own twisted goals.
The project still is being eyed as a family film.
Thorne co-wrote the Brit TV series This Is England ’86 and This Is England ’88, as well as the BBC supernatural series The Fades. Cast-Offs, a dramedy mockumentary, followed six deformed or disabled people sent to a remote island for a fictional reality show.
On the feature side, he adapted Nick Hornby’s novel A Long Way Down into a movie starring Rosamund Pike, Aaron Paul, Pierce Brosnan and Toni Collette. He also worked on How I Live Now, Kevin MacDonald’s drama starring Saoirse Ronan. Both movies are due for release this year.
Thorne is repped by WME.