Nearly four decades ago, director Don Bluth’s animated feature, The Secret of NIMH, bought Robert C. O’Brien’s Rats of NIMH novels to the big screen. Aside from a non-Bluth directed direct-to-video sequel, the NIMH franchise has been dormant for years. However, Fox is planning a new incarnation of the story for television.
Deadline is reporting that Fox is developing Rats of NIMH as an animated event series. Fox has already given the project a script commitment. Now, a writer for the project is also being sought.
While Fox’s animated series tend to be family programming, Deadline’s report appears to indicate that the new NIMH series will have a darker and more adult tone. It also notes that this is a complete reboot of the story that is separate from the previous film.
The main character of the first NIMH novel is Mrs. Frisby, a mouse and a widow who is desperate to keep her family safe. With her home facing destruction and her son, Timmy, deathly ill with pneumonia, Mrs. Frisby is forced to seek out “a colony of escaped super-intelligent lab rats.” The rats were given their intellect and abilities through experiments run by the National Institute of Mental Health. However, not all of the rats are on Frisby’s side.
O’Brien’s first novel in the series, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, was published in 1971. He also co-wrote two sequels with his daughter, Jane Leslie Conly.
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Recommended Reading: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
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