This year’s Best Picture presenter at the Oscars was Steven Spielberg who could be back at the Kodak next year to collect that same Academy Award for his adaptation of the novel “War Horse.” The best-seller by Michael Morpurgo tells the tale of a young English farmhand who enlists during WW I in hopes of finding his beloved colt who has been sold to the cavalry.
Oscar nominees RIchard Curtis (“Four Weddings and a Funeral) and Lee Hall (“Billy Elliot”) adapted the 1982 Whitbread runner-up. Newcomer Jeremy Irvine plays the boy with two-time Oscar nominee Emily Watson and Peter Mullans as his parents, and Benedict Cumberbatch as an army officer. The film is being released stateside on Dec. 28.
Four years ago, helmer Nick Stafford turned the epic story into a stunning stage spectacle at the National Theater. That innovative production, which includes both actors and puppeteers, won all five of its races at this year’s Tony Awards. It became the first play since “Sleuth” in 1971 to take the top prize without any acting nominations. This British import also prevailed in bids by co-helmers Marianne Elliott and Tom Morris and the tech types responsible for lighting, scenic and sound design.