Movies: Boxcar Children: Surprise Island; A Little Piece of Light

Martin Sheen and J.K. Simmons have joined the voice cast for The Boxcar Children: Surprise Island, an animated feature produced by Legacy Classics, Shout! Factory, Albert Whitman & Company, and Blueberry Pictures.

The movie, based on the popular series of chapter books, is currently in production. Directed by Dan Chuba and Mark Dippé from Chuba's screenplay, it also stars Joey King, Carter Sand, Gil Birmingham, Griffin Gluck, Stephen Stanton and Talitha Bateman. Additional voice cast members will be announced at a later date.

As part of a long-term, multifaceted co-production and film distribution partnership between Shout! Factory and Legacy Classics for a slate of new family movies, The Boxcar Children: Surprise Island is the first of three new animated features adapted from several bestselling titles in the book series, which will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2017.


Rosario Dawson (Iron Fist, Sin City) will play activist Donna Hylton in a film based on her memoir A Little Piece of Light. Deadline reported that "Dawson and Hylton are currently looking for a female screenwriter to adapt the book as well as a female director."

"This is a project for women, by women, of women," said Dan Pearson, who is repping the material and Hylton's life rights through his D4 Entertainment. "That's how it's got to go. Donna says, 'Your voice is my voice. My voice is your voice. And together our voice is powerful.' " Frank Weimann at the FolioLit literary agency is working with Pearson.

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