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…