War Horse is a 2011 American war drama film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is an adaptation of British author Michael Morpurgo's 1982 children's novel of the same name set before and during the First World War. The film's cast includes Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Eddie Marsan, Toby Kebbell, David Kross and Peter Mullan. In 1912, a teenage boy named Albert Narracott (Jeremy Irvine) from Devon, England, witnesses the birth of a Bay Thoroughbred foal and subsequently watches with admiration the growth of the young horse, galloping through the fields at his mother's side. Much to the dismay of his mother Rose (Emily Watson), his father Ted (Peter Mullan) buys the colt at auction, despite a friend pointing out a more suitable plough horse for his farm. Desiring to spite his landlord Mr. Lyons (David Thewlis), and retain his pride, Ted bids higher and higher for the colt. The high cost of the horse at 30 guineas (£31.50) means he is unable to pay rent to Lyons, who threatens to take possession of the farm if the money is not paid by autumn. Ted promises to meet the deadline, suggesting he could plough and plant a lower, rock-filled field with turnips. Albert names the horse Joey and devotes much time to training him. Albert's best friend, Andrew Easton (Matt Milne), watches as Albert teaches his colt many things, such as to come when he imitates the call of an owl by blowing through his cupped hands.