We've known Steven Spielberg's next project was an adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's 1982 children's novelWar Horse since around last Christmas. What we didn't know until today was who the director would cast in the lead role. According to Playlist's tipsters, the search is over and actor Eddie Redmayne has landed the gig.

War Horse is the touching tale of a young man named Albert and his beloved horse Joey. Joey is sold to the Cavalry and sent off for active duty in World War I -- and Albert, who's underage and can't enlist, heads to France to save him. Apparently, this is like a "two boxes of Kleenex" story. The stage adaptation has been running in London since 2007 and will serve as the basis for Spielberg's version.

Redmayne, who's 28 but looks younger, has appeared in a few notable titles in his young career. He turned up alongside Julianne Moore in Savage Grace, appeared in The Other Boleyn Girl, and is currently on British screens in Christopher Smith's Black Death.

Spielberg, meanwhile, is in post-production on The Adventures of Tin-Tin, which is due in theaters during the holiday season in 2011. With War Horse due out next August, 2011 is shaping up to be a busy year for the filmmaker.

As Playlist points out, it's unusual for Spielberg to use a relatively unknown actor in a leading role. Do you think War Horse will be a breakout part for Redmayne -- one that catapults him to the Hollywood A-list -- or do you think the filmmaker should have gone with a more recognizable young actor?