Fast-tracking threechildren's projects, Walden Media has acquired rights to KatherinePaterson's Newbery Award-winning novel Bridge To Terabithia and Australian author Wendy Orr's award-winnerNim's Island and has signedAntz writer Todd Alcott to adaptLois Lowry's Newbery Award-winner The Giver.
The company has partneredwith Jeff Bridges and his AsIs Productions and RCN Entertainment (RCNE) toproduce.
'These three projectsare consistent with the overall Walden Media mission to create qualityentertainment that engages and enlightens the audience,' Walden Mediachief executive officer Cary Granat said in a statement.
'Walden continues todevelop films and accompanying educational outreach programs that will carryforth the vision of these authors who have entrusted us with their work.'
Gabor Csupo, who produced Rugrats Go Wild! and The Wild Thornberry's Movie, is set to direct Bridge To Terabithia as his first live action project. The story centreson two young friends who draw on their imaginary world to cope with a tragedy.
No director is attached asyet to Nim's Island, whichwill be produced by Paula Mazur andconcerns the trials and tribulations of a young girl stranded on an island.
In The Giver, a boy living in a future world faces a decisionwhen he is assigned to inherit the mantle of The Giver, a powerful entity whopresides over a huge store of banned human emotions.
Last year Walden Media inassociation with The Walt Disney Company released the children's hit Holes and Ghosts Of The Abyss. Upcoming releases include Around The World In 80Days (also with Disney) and thecompany is currently developing C S Lewis' The Chronicles Of Narnia.