Gervais to Play Mole
If you didn’t already know Ray Griggs’ has hatched plans to bring Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows back to the big screen, you’ll be all the wider-eyed to hear he’s announced Ricky Gervais to play Mole. This is yet another version of the old literary classic, this time aided – unsurprisingly – by special effects gurus, courtesy of Weta.
The last notable appearance of this British fable was a lukewarm TV version in 2006 starring Matt Lucas and Bob Hoskin, so this will likely be more spectacular, especially as Griggs will be blending live-action with animatronics.
It’s hardly surprising that Griggs should pick the British, pudgy faced Gervais for Mole. Griggs says “It’s a natural fit to have an iconic British actor star in an iconic British tale. I had Ricky in mind for this role from the inception of the project.” We can’t say whether Gervais was flattered to be imagined so readily as a furry, blind underground creature, but his paycheck will surely curtail any matters of vanity.
Despite it’s modest $30 million budget (for visual effects) whipped up by independent investors by Griggs’ RG Entertainment company, the producers have big plans for the Willows story. The story will retain the usual chatty creatures including Mole, Rat, Badger and Mr Toad, but with a fresh and rather sinister plot that threatens the truce between the animals and the last remnants of Mankind. Is Wind In the Willows taking after the Zeiteist of post apocalyptic survival dramas?
Déjà Vu writer Bill Marsilii is behind the script, which will initially focus on Mole. Griggs will be kicking off pre-production in New Zealand later this year.