Mike Newell is to direct TheBox Of Delights, a film based on the children’s novel of the same name by John Masefield.

The screenplay will be adapted from original source material by Frank Cottrell Boyce.

Brilliant Films is financing the project through its own development fund and the company’s Joe Abrams and Rory Gilmartin will executive produce alongside Newell.

The novel tells the story of a 12 year old boy, Kay, who is asked to look after the box of delights by a magical old man. The box, which allows Kay to travel through time, puts him in grave danger.

Newell, whose credits include Harry Potter And The Goblet of Fire, said: ‘I first heard Box of Delights as a radio play on the BBC when I was a boy in a freezing, mostly dark-brown England where the radio sets were huge and the whole country seemed to be lit with a single 40 Watt bulb.

‘I was immediately seduced by the tingling, opening harp music and the fantastical, mysterious, magic story that followed. Reading the novel 50 years later, I was inspired all over again by its richness. I want to recreate for today’s much savvier children (and their parents) my childhood feelings of excitement, wonder and terror.’