Steven Spielberg announces War Horse cast

Emily Watson Emily Watson will play the mother of the main character Albert

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Director Steven Spielberg has announced the cast for his film version of stage play War Horse, which will include Oscar-nominated actress Emily Watson.

Other British stars who will appear in the movie include David Thewlis, Benedict Cumberbatch, with theatre actor Jeremy Irvine in the lead role.

The story, set during World War I, will also feature German actor David Kross, who co-starred in The Reader.

Spielberg's film is due to be released in August 2011.

The movie-maker is expected to begin shooting in the UK later in the summer.

His last cinema release was Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull two years ago.

Other European actors due to appear in the film adaptation include French-born star Niels Arestrup, who appeared in acclaimed films The Diving Bell and The Butterfly and A Prophet.

War Horse, which tells the story of a horse caught up in the carnage of World War I, was originally a children's book written by Michael Morpurgo.

The stage adaptation was originally put on at London's National Theatre in 2007 and is currently on at the New London Theatre in the West End.

It was announced earlier this year that it would transfer to Broadway in November.

The film version has been adapted by Lee Hall and Richard Curtis from both the original story and stage adaptation.

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