The Wind in the Willows is getting a tad more fantastic as Ioan Gruffudd steps into the shoes of financier-turned-author Kenneth Grahame for biopic Banking on Mr. Toad. Also rumoured to be joining the cast is Samantha Morton, who would be set to play the unconventional childrens character creator’s wife Elspeth.
The film, set to be directed by Driving Miss Daisy‘s Bruce Beresford, will follow the man who formed one of Britain’s best loved storybooks, The Wind In The Willows, from his beginnings as the secretary of the Bank of England in Victorian England to dealing with the challenges of raising an autistic son in a less than accepting society.
The adventures of Willows characters Mole, Ratty and Toad, first published in 1908, were influenced by Grahame’s early years living with his grandmother following his mother’s death along the banks of the River Thames . The stories of these anthropomorphised creatures were continually successful from then on, were later brought to the stage as Toad of Toad Hall and have been adapted for TV and film throughout the years.
Written by Timothy Haas and Wendy Oberman, the film will mix animation and live-action and will be shot in Ireland later this year. Expect Findnig Neverland and Miss Potter-isms aplenty.