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Disney+ is beefing up its feature slate.
The streamer has picked up Black Beauty, an adaptation of the beloved children’s book from Constantin Film and JB Pictures.
Mackenzie Foy and Kate Winslet star in the already-completed feature that will premiere on Disney+ later this year.
The movie is a contemporary retelling of Anna Sewell’s 19th century novel about the titular horse who is born free in the American West. As she is rounded up and taken away from her family, her story intertwines with that of a teenager, Jo Green, similarly grieving over the loss of her parents. The two develop a bond crafted in love, trust and healing.
Foy, who co-starred opposite Matthew McConaughey in Interstellar and Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, portrays Green while Oscar winner Winslet provides the voice of Black Beauty. Also in the cast are Iain Glen (Game of Thrones) and Claire Forlani.
Ashley Avis (Adolescence) wrote the screenplay and directed the movie, which shot last year in South Africa.
Jeremy Bolt of JB Pictures and Constantin’s Robert Kulzer produced the feature along with Genevieve Hofmeyr of Moonlighting Films. Bolt and Kulzer are perhaps best known for producing the Resident Evil franchise and such action films as Polar.
Martin Moszkowicz, Edward Winters and Jon Brown executive produced. Dylan Tarason is a co-producer.
The Beauty acquisition bolsters the feature offerings from the streamer. With no movies being released in theaters due to the pandemic, Disney+ can’t rely on titles segueing to the platform. The company hasn’t made straight-to-streamer features either, a situation the series side of the platform isn’t facing as it readies season two of The Mandalorian and its inaugural Marvel series, among others, later this year.
Beauty marks the second narrative feature acquisition for Disney+ after Clouds, that inspirational teen drama it picked up from Warner Bros. in May. That musical project, which stars relative newcomer Fin Argus, former Disney Channel star Sabrina Carpenter and Annabelle Comes Home star Madison Iseman, is also slated to be unveiled later this year.
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