Walt Disney Pictures started production on “Flora & Ulysses,” a new adaptation directed by Lena Khan. The movie is based on the Newberry Award-winning children’s book, “Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures” by Kate DiCamillo. The new project will help launch Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+, which is set to debut on November 12th.
If you would like to read the original work before seeing the adaptation, you can find Kate DiCamillo’s work right here on Amazon.
You might know Lena Khan from her work on “The Tiger Hunter,” which released in 2017 and was financed by crowdfunding. The comedy about a South Asian Muslim immigrant attempting to find his way in 1970s America garnered positive reviews for Khan, a graduate of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, and spotlighted her talents as a Muslim woman behind the camera.
“Flora & Ulysses” tells the story of 10-year-old Flora, an avid comic book fan and a self-avowed cynic, who saves a squirrel she names Ulysses only to have its unique superhero powers wreak havoc in a series of humorous, antic-filled adventures that ultimately change Flora’s life—and her outlook—forever.
Disney confirmed that Matilda Lawler plays the role of Flora, marking her film debut. She currently stars on Broadway as Honor Carney in Jez Butterworth’s Tony Award–winning play “The Ferryman,” directed by Sam Mendes. Alyson Hannigan (“How I Met Your Mother,” “American Pie”) plays Flora’s romance-writer mother, Phyllis, and Ben Schwartz (“Parks and Recreation,” “Modern Family”) plays the role of her world-weary, estranged father, George. Newcomer Benjamin Evans Ainsworth plays the role of William, Flora’s newfound, but annoying, friend, and Danny Pudi (“Community,” “The Tiger Hunter”) joins the cast as Miller, an overly zealous animal control officer.
“Flora & Ulysses” is produced by Academy Award–nominated film producer Gil Netter (“Life of Pi,” “The Blind Side,” “Marley and Me”), and James Powers (“The Maze Runner” series) and Katterli Frauenfelder (“Dumbo,” “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”) are the executive producers. The book was adapted for the screen by Brad Copeland (“Ferdinand,” “Wild Hogs”).
“Flora & Ulysses” is just one of many projects that are coming to Disney+. The service offers content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and more. Current projects include the Star Wars live-action series “The Mandalorian,” “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” “The World According to Jeff Goldblum,” and “Encore!.” Current films include “Lady and the Tramp” and “Noelle.”
All 30 seasons of “The Simpsons” will be available through the service, and Disney+ will also be the exclusive streaming home for films released by The Walt Disney Studios in 2019 and beyond, including “Captain Marvel,” “Avengers: Endgame,” “Aladdin,” “Toy Story 4,” “The Lion King,” “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” “Frozen 2,” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”
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