Few people outside Australia would be familiar with the magpie, but the black and white bird native to Australia is about to land on the world map as Reese Witherspoon, Naomi Watts and Bruna Papandrea team up for an adaptation of the best-selling memoir, Penguin Bloom.
The illustrated book, by photographer Cameron Bloom and New York Times author Bradley Trevor Greive tells the story of 'Penguin', a little magpie who became a symbol of strength for one family living on Sydney's Northern Beaches during an incredibly hopeless period.
Production will take place in Australia with Naomi Watts set to star in the film and produce alongside Witherspoon, Papandrea and Australian producer Emma Cooper.
Earlier this year, The Huffington Post Australia spoke with Bloom about the memoir, and how 'Penguin' had become part of the family after his son, Noah, rescued the injured magpie chick from a carpark in 2013.
Sam, the boys and I are so excited to finally announce that our book, Penguin Bloom written by Bradley Trevor Greive will be made into a Hollywood film staring Naomi Watts as Sam. "Sam's undeniable spirit and the intense physical and emotional journey she and her family embraced resonated with me both as a storyteller and as a mother," Naomi will co produce alongside Reese Witherspoon, Bruna Papandrea and Emma Cooper. This is also a wonderful opportunity for us to support the vital research being undertaken by our partners at @spinalcure @reevefoundation @wingsforlife
It was a time when the Bloom family were going through a tumultuous time, coming to terms with the fact Sam Bloom, Cameron's wife and mother to their three boys had become paralysed after a near-fatal fall in Thailand.
As they adjusted to their new situation, 'Penguin' became an unlikely force of support.
"She became like another kid in the house. The real beauty of it was that she became this bright spark and totally lifted the mood of the household," Bloom told HuffPost Australia in March.
The story resonated with Witherspoon the moment Cooper sent her the book.
"Penguin Bloom affected me in so many ways. Every family will respond to this universal and heartwarming story of a family dealing with tragedy," Witherspoon said in a statement.
Sam and Cameron bloom added, "Penguin has changed our lives for the better in so many wonderful ways".
"We hope the movie will continue to generate awareness and support for the vital spinal cord injury research via SpinalCure Australia, Wings for Life, The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and other leading charities we are partnering with all around the world."
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"Angels come in all shapes and sizes" is mentioned at the beginning of the book, and for the Bloom family, Penguin was exactly that.
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