- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Thea Sharrock, director of the tearjerker Me Before You, is in early talks to direct The One and Only Ivan, Disney’s adaptation of the Newbery Medal-winning book written by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by Patricia Castelao.
Allison Shearmur, who was one of the producers on Disney’s live-action take on Cinderella as well as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is on board to produce the adaptation.
Published by HarperCollins in 2011, the book centers on a silverback gorilla named Ivan who lives in a cage in a shopping mall along with an elephant named Stella and a stray dog called Bob. Ivan does not remember life before the mall, but when a baby elephant enters and Ivan finds himself taking care of her, he begins to rediscover his previous life and concocts a plan to take the baby elephant away from their abusive owner.
Applegate, who also created the late 1990s book series Animorphs with her husband, Michael Grant, based the story on a real-life gorilla named Ivan who spent 27 years in a Washington mall before being transferred to the Atlanta Zoo.
Ivan could become the latest project at the studio to nab a female director. Disney has Ava DuVernay helming the recently wrapped A Wrinkle in Time and just put Niki Caro on its live-action retelling of Mulan.
Sharrock is an award-winning theater director who made her feature debut with Me Before You, MGM’s adaptation of the romantic novel by Jojo Moyes. The 2016 movie starred Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin and was a international hit, grossing over $207 million worldwide.
Sharrock is repped by CAA.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day
More from The Hollywood Reporter
Andrew Lloyd Webber Says His Son Has Been Checked Into Hospice Care After His “Ghastly” Cancer Diagnosis
Christina Applegate Slams Candace Owens’ Criticism of Underwear Ad Featuring Model in Wheelchair: “My Rage Is Keeping Me Awake”
Justin Roiland Domestic Violence Charges Dismissed by Orange County District Attorney