With Disney and Steve Carell around, Alexander might not have such a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, after all. Deadline is reporting that Disney has picked up the long-in-the-works (since 2010, to be exact) big screen version of Judith Viorst's beloved children's book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
The project — which has Carell (whose kid-friendly Despicable Me earned an impressive $251.5 million at the box office) attached to play Alexander's dad —was initially supposed to be made by 20th Century Fox, but was put in turnaround in September. But their loss is Disney's game as the live-action adaption has, in addition to Carell, Shawn Levy and Dan Levine producing and Oscar-nominated scribe Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right) with Rob Lieber taking on the script. There is no director attached to the movie yet. Over the years, Disney has been responsible for bringing other famous children's fiction to life, including The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Bridge To Terabithia, and 2010's Alice in Wonderland. Since the scope of Alexander's tale is much smaller than those sagas, it will be interesting to see if Disney chooses to keep the movie as simple and sweet as the classic story itself, or turn it into a spectacle. Either way, hang in there, Alexander. It looks like you are finally getting one step closer to being on the big screen. [Photo credit: DailyCeleb.com]
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Shawn Levy is in the news twice today. First, with a possible lead actor for his upcoming film Fantastic Voyage, but also regarding another one of his production company's developing properties. Variety reports that he's close to locking Oscar nominee Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right) into the director's chair for the adaptation of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
He's producing the family film, based on Judith Viorst's beloved children's novel, through his 20th Century Fox-based 21 Laps banner. There's already a script in place from Rob Lieber and the Henson Company will co-produce as well. For all those who missed out on childhood staples, the story follows the titular character as he and his family collectively have a record-breaking crummy day, which starts with him waking to find gum in his hair and ends with him threatening to move to Australia. Other characters that would be cast include Alex's two older brothers and parents.
If successful, this could be the start of a whole new franchise for Fox, much like it's Diary of a Wimpy Kid films. Who better to shepherd the series than the guy responsible for the Night at the Museum, (recent) Pink Panther and (recent) Cheaper By The Dozen films? My only concern: Cholodenko. She's an artist, not a hit maker. Though she explored the at-times comic tribulations that families face in her last film, I don't think this is material suited for her hi-brow sensibilities. Alexander's story could skew a bit more mature (perhaps like Spike Jonze's Where The Wild Things Are) despite its young protagonist, but something just doesn't feel right here. More as this one develops...
Variety reports that director-producer Shawn Levy is set to develop and produce an adaptation of Judith Viorst's beloved children's book "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" with his Fox-based 21 Laps production company. The Jim Henson Company currently holds the rights to the story but is assigning them to Fox.
The book, which I'm going to abbreviate AATHNGVBD - well, that's no better, we'll just call it "the book" - tells the story of young Alexander, whose day gets off to a bad start with some gum stuck in his hair, and just stays generally bad until he goes to sleep again. So it's really a sort of Kafka-esque tragedy, a parable for life's absurdity and senselessness. No, just kidding, in the end Alexander's mother tells him everyone has bad days, and we all learn an important lesson about sucking it up and dealing with it.
Viorst's book was adapted for HBO in 1990 as a single half-hour animated show, but has never been the subject of a feature film. No word yet on whether Levy and co. are planning a computer-animated or live action feature, but Rob Lieber is attached to write the screenplay.
Variety notes that Levy won't necessarily direct the film adaptation, but that Henson Co. brought the project to him based on his experience helming similar family-oriented features like Night at the Museum and Cheaper by the Dozen.