War Horse is a 2011 American war drama film directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg from a screenplay written by Lee Hall and Richard Curtis, adapted from English author Michael Morpurgo's 1982 novel of the same name. The film's cast includes Jeremy Irvine (in his film acting debut), Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Eddie Marsan, Niels Arestrup, Toby Kebbell, David Kross and Peter Mullan. Set before and during World War I, it tells of the journey of Joey, a bay Thoroughbred horse raised by British teenager Albert (Irvine), as he is bought by the British Army, leading him to encounter numerous individuals and owners throughout Europe, all the while experiencing the tragedies of the war happening around him.
DreamWorks Pictures acquired the film rights to the novel in December 2009, with Spielberg announced to direct the film in May 2010. Having directed many films set during the Second World War, it was his first film to tackle the events of World War I. Long-term Spielberg collaborators Janusz Kamiński, Michael Kahn, Rick Carter and John Williams all worked on the film as cinematographer, editor, production designer, and music composer, respectively.
Produced by DreamWorks Pictures and released worldwide by Touchstone Pictures, War Horse became a box-office success and was met with positive reviews. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, two Golden Globe Awards and five BAFTAs.