to Nim’s Island comes to the big screen in
Australia five years to the day after Nim’s
Island; five and a half years after Nim
at Sea was published, ten years after the initial contact from the film
producer Paula Mazur, thirteen years after the book Nim’s Island was published, and more years than I care to work out
since the first draft was written when I was nine.
So, maybe time for a quick overview:
The childhood story, Spring Island, was
inspired by seeing a tiny, uninhabitable island off the coast of Vancouver
Island. Being infatuated with Anne of Green Gables at the time, I wrote about a
little girl running away from an orphanage; she’s joined by a boy running away
from his orphanage, and together they head off to live on an island.
Years later, I was working on a book of
letters between a girl on an island and a famous adventure author with a very
boring life. After many false starts I remembered that story and channeled the
feelings of that nine-year old writer who wanted to be independent and
resourceful – and finally, the story changed its form and Nim’s Island came to life.
It was published in Australia in 1999, in
the USA and Canada in 2001, and in six other countries in 2001-2. In 2003,
after it was listed in Los Angeles Times best books for 2002, the Hollywood
producer Paula Mazur picked it up in her local library for her eight year old
son. Two weeks later she emailed to ask me for the film rights. She pitched it
to several studios, had interest from four, and by the end of the year we had
closed a deal with Walden Media.
The feature film of Nim’s Island was
released around the world in 2008, starring Abigail Breslin as Nim, Jodie
Foster as the author Alex Rover, and Gerard Butler in the dual roles of Nim’s
father Jack and Alex Rover’s fictitious hero.
at Sea, the sequel to the book, was published in
Australia in 2007, the USA & Canada in 2008, and slightly later in another 16
countries. By then the first book had been published in 24 languages.
Return to Nim’s Island, the sequel to the
film and based loosely on Nim at Sea stars Bindi Irwin as Nim, Matthew Lillard
as Jack, Toby Wallace as Edmund, and John Waters as the evil poacher. It will
debut on the Hallmark Channel in the USA on March 17 with the DVD released in Walmart the following day, and on cinemas across
Australia on April 4. I’ll post international distribution news as I hear it.
The Nim Stories, featuring Nim's Island and Nim at Sea in one book, will be released in Australia and New Zealand on April 1.
Labels: abigail breslin, Bindi Irwin, book to film, children writing, children's literature, Gerard Butler, Jodie Foster, matthew lillard, Nim at Sea, nim stories, Nim's Island, Return to Nim's Island, toby wallace