By Dennis Abrams
British actress Emma Thompson, winner of an Academy Award in 1995 for her screenplay adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility and screenwriter who transformed Nurse Matilda into Nanny McPhee, is soon to be channeling another beloved British author.
Frederick Warne (a division of Penguin since 1983) announced that it will be publishing Thompson’s The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit in September 2012, the 110th anniversary of the beloved bunny’s first appearance in print, The Story of Peter Rabbit. Plans are for a simultaneous release in the US and the UK. It will be the first addition to Potter’s beloved series since 1930.
With more than 150 million Peter Rabbit books sold worldwide in 35 languages and more than 350 licensees, anticipation for the new title will be running high. Thompson, a long time fan of Potter and whose father was a children’s television writer said in a statement “I’ve always loved Beatrix Potter, as a child and then as a mother and all the years in-between as well. When Mr. Rabbit invited me to write a further tale, I was more honored than I can say. I hope I don’t let him or his extraordinary creator down.”
The new story will take Peter Rabbit away from Mr. McGregor’s garden and send him on a journey to Scotland, a setting inspired by Potter’s own childhood holidays.