Twentieth Century Fox andWalden Media have signed a five-picture production and distribution deal inwhich Fox will handle worldwide releasing on all titles.
The slate includes threepreviously announced adaptations of acclaimed children's novels - Wendy Orr's Nim'sIsland, Katherine Paterson's BridgeTo Terebithia and Lois Lowry's TheGiver - and Kate DiCamillo's BecauseOf Winn-Dixie and Adam Mortimer'sas-yet-unpublished comic book proposal Biblionauts.
All five projects are invarious stages. Because Of Winn-Dixie, about a friendship between a lonely young girl and her dog, stars JeffDaniels, Dave Matthews, Annasophia Robb and is currently in post-production.
Based on an idea for aseries of graphic novels by Adam Mortimer, Biblionauts centres on two youngsters who stumble upon a devicethat transports them into great works of fiction.
Mortimer will co-producewith Susan Montford and Don Murphy, who hope to turn the property into afranchise.
Bridge To Terabithia is about an imaginary world created by two youngfriends who turn to it when they experience a tragedy.
Gabor Csupo is lined up todirect and Lauren Levine will produce with the author's son, David Paterson.
In The Giver, which Jeff Bridges is attached to produce, a youngboy defies his destiny in a futuristic world where memory of human history hasbeen virtually eradicated.
Nim's Island centres on a modern-day Robinson Crusoe who mustfend for herself when her scientist father leaves the island for research.Paula Mazur will produce and adapt the book with screenwriter Joe Kwong.
"Walden Media has shown aremarkable instinct and ability with event children's material, as evidenced bywhat they are doing now with The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe and their previous work on Holes, and they are already proving to be an excellentpartner on Because Of Winn-Dixie,"Fox president Hutch Parker said in a statement.
"We believe there is a broadaudience eager to see these projects brought to the big screen and plan to moveforward quickly on this exciting slate."
"We are partnering with Foxbecause they share our passion for great family entertainment and our visionfor delivering resources to parents and educators that will extend the filmgoing experience," Walden chief executive officer and AFG president Cary Granatadded.
Walden Media recentlypartnered with Disney on the release of its epic Around the World In 80 Days, which was a disappointment in its domestic release.
The two companies arecurrently producing the first live-action adaptations of C S Lewis' TheChronicles Of Narnia, beginning withThe Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe.