Mike Newell to Direct Disney Movie About a Gorilla Named Ivan

Mike White will adapt Katherine Applegate’s children’s book

“Four Weddings and a Funeral” director Mike Newell is set to direct a big-screen adaptation of Katherine Applegate’s children’s book “The One and Only Ivan” for Disney, TheWrap has learned.

Mike White is writing the script, which is about a silverback gorilla who lives in a cage in a shopping mall and finds himself caring for a baby elephant with whom he hatches a plan for escape.

Allison Shearmur will produce the movie, which is based on Applegate’s Newbery Award-winning 2012 illustrated children’s book. The book sold more than 1 million copies.

Sam Dickerman, Stephen Meinen and Bryan Oh are overseeing the project for the studio.

In addition to “Four Weddings,” Newell’s credits include “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” “Donnie Brasco” with Johnny Depp and 2012’s “Great Expectations.” He’s repped by WME.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news.