The Secret of NIMH might be one of the best animated films of all time. It’s a serious contender. And the book it’s based on, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, is equally fantastic. The movie’s sequel, The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue, on the other hand was a bit less than good. Now MGM’s taking another shot at adapting the story, but they’re going about it in a weird way.
The new live-action/CGI film, according to Deadline, will be an origin story that will hopefully “create a franchise.” The story will be about “an imperiled mouse protagonist [who] befriends a comical crew of lab rats as they turn hyper-intelligent. They escape a secret laboratory and become the great minds of vermin civilization, forced to outwit the humans hot on their tails.” If you’re familiar with the book or the 1982 movie, you’ll recognize that as a second act flashback.
One can only assume that MGM’s plan is for the first film to tell Jonathan
Brisby Frisby’s and the rats’ origin before moving on to the story from the first book/movie in the sequel. It’s likely that, if the movies do well, they’ll then adapt the second and third novels as parts 3 and 4.
Screenwriter Michael Berg will be handling the script. His resume consists almost entirely of the Ice Age films (of which he wrote all five), so take that however you’d like.