The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep

The Academy Award®-winning producer and special-effects team behind The Lord of the Rings join with Revolution Studios, Walden Media (The Chronicles of Narnia) and Beacon Pictures to bring to the screen the magical motion picture The Water Horse. Rooted in one of the most enduring and intriguing legends of our time, the story begins with an enchanted egg… and what hatches will set in motion an adventure that will take a young boy on the unforgettable journey of a lifetime.
When a lonely young boy named Angus discovers a large, mysterious egg along the shores of Loch Ness, no one is prepared for what lies within. He soon discovers that the strange, mischievous hatchling inside is none other than The Water Horse, the loch’s most mysterious and fabled creature! But with the Water Horse growing ten times its size every day, Angus finds it increasingly difficult to keep his new friend a secret. Two-time Academy Award(r) nominee Emily Watson (1998, Hilary and Jackie; 1996 Breaking the Waves), Alex Etel, Ben Chaplin (The Thin Red Line), David Morrissey (The Reaping) and Brian Cox (Running with Scissors) star in this heart warming tale from director Jay Russell (Tuck Everlasting) and written by Robert Nelson Jacobs (Flushed Away).
Inside ‘The Water Horse’

Crusoe and his nemesis, Churchill  Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment

Filming Locations

The majority of “The Water Horse” was shot in New Zealand for its proximity to Weta, its film industry infrastructure and experienced crews. The natural settings were also great substitutes for 1940s ­Scotland. The production spent five and a half weeks in the area around Queenstown, New Zealand, whose lack of modern houses and roads made it ideal for a period movie.

“When the clouds come in over the mountains, it could be Scotland,” says animation supervisor Richard Frances-Moore. “The only thing missing is that in Scotland, there are old walls and buildings everywhere, so it was valuable to actually go to Scotland to get the representation of the age of the landscape.”


“There was no way I was going to make a movie about the Loch Ness monster and not shoot at least part of it in Scotland,” says Russell. Visiting Loch Ness for the first time during scouting, he was struck by the masses of tourists staring at and photographing the lake. He soon found himself “hoping that this damn thing would come out of the water. It’s that desire in all of us that there’s something out there beyond our imagination that we can’t explain.”

The Water Horse: Legend of The Deep

Queenstown’s Lake Wakatipu, seen previously in the “Lord of the Rings” movies, was the New Zealand double for Loch Ness. “We didn’t have any cover, but we never stopped for the weather,” Russell says. “We were incredibly lucky. We had these 70- to 80-mile-an-hour winds every other day, but the crew was so used to it.”

The Water Horse Legend of the Deep Movie screenshot 1920x1080 (1)

Russell, who remained in New Zealand during postproduction to work closely with Weta, says that his first extensive visual effects film won’t be his last — as long as he can work with Weta again. He’s not that keen, however, to direct a “Water Horse” sequel. “I feel I’ve done it,” he says. “I’ve made the film I wanted to make.”

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