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Steven Spielberg It looks like movie maestro Steven Spielberg is hopping across the pond to cast and direct his latest project, which sounds like spiffing news, if we do say so ourselves.

Empire Online
is reporting that Spielberg has assembled a top-notch crop of British talent to headline 'War Horse,' a heartfelt tale of the friendship between a boy and his noble steed, adapted from Michael Morpurgo's novel and Nick Stafford's stage version by 'Billy Elliot' scribe Lee Hall and Richard Curtis ('Love Actually,' 'Notting Hill'). Steven SpielbergIt looks like movie maestro Steven Spielberg is hopping across the pond to cast and direct his latest project, which sounds like spiffing news, if we do say so ourselves.

Empire Online
is reporting that Spielberg has assembled a top-notch crop of British talent to headline 'War Horse,' a heartfelt tale of the friendship between a boy and his noble steed, adapted from Michael Morpurgo's novel and Nick Stafford's stage version by 'Billy Elliot' scribe Lee Hall and Richard Curtis ('Love Actually,' 'Notting Hill').

The cast features both familiar faces and newcomers who will doubtless find their careers launched into the stratosphere following their Spielberg bows; none more-so than fresh-faced Jeremy Irvine, who plays the lead role of Albert, the boy who is prepared to follow his beloved horse Joey into war-torn France to rescue him from the military cavalry.

Thesps you may recognize include Peter Mullan and Emily Watson as Albert's parents, while the delightfully-named Benedict Cumberbatch ('Atonement') will play Major Stewart in the trenches of World War One. 'Harry Potter' star David Thewlis is also on board as a man named Lyons, though no further details have yet been released concerning his character.

The internationally eclectic cast also includes Niels Arestrup ('A Prophet') as the grandfather of a young French girl (played by Celine Buckens) who takes Joey in, as well as Leonard Carow, Robert Emms, Nicolas Bro, Rainer Bock, David Kross and Patrick Kennedy.

Still in negotiations are Tom Hiddleston (who will next be seen in Marvel's 'Thor' as the villainous Loki) and Stephen Graham, who was last spotted alongside Christian Bale and Johnny Depp in 'Public Enemies'.

'War Horse' marks Spielberg's first directorial effort since 2008's 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull' which was largely regarded as a disappointment among critics, despite grossing almost $800 million worldwide.

While details are still few and far between at this point, the movie sounds like it has a 'Black Beauty'-meets-'Empire of the Sun' vibe, and we all know that Spielberg is at his best when filming intimate tales of unexpected friendships. If it can recapture the magic he found with 'E.T.', we think 'War Horse' sounds like an exciting prospect indeed -- what's your take?