Steve Carell Buys a Fantasy World in ‘Magic Kingdom for Sale’

Steve CarellHis first big star outing in so-so Evan Almighty may have turned Steve Carell away from high-concept comedies for the last few years, but apparently, it didn’t squash the desire completely. has learned that the actor is now attached to Magic Kingdom for Sale—SOLD!, a comedy based on the book of the same name by fantasy author Terry Brooks. In the book, Ben Holiday, a widowed lawyer, finds an ad in a Christmas catalog for a magical kingdom. With $1 million to spare, Holiday purchases the kingdom from the mysterious Mr. Meeks and finds himself transported to the world of Landover. When he arrives, Holiday discovers that the kingdom is in turnover, and must unite the citizens and creatures of the world in order to stop an evil demon from wiping them all out.

The movie was originally set up with The Mummy and G.I. Joe director Stephen Sommers, but he has since left the project. Carell boards with producer Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind, Fantastic Four) still attached.

With plenty of adult-oriented projects in the can or in the works, including Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Great Hope Springs, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and Charlie Kaufman’s Frank or Francis, Magic Kingdom for Sale—SOLD! marks the actor’s return to family friendly and blockbuster fare. The fish-out-of-water format sounds right up his alley, and should give Carell a second chance to prove he can carry a studio picture. Combining elements of Enchanted and We Bought a Zoo with Carell’s charm? Sounds like a win.

Craig Wright, who previously wrote for Lost, penned the screenplay. No word on when production might begin, but with Carell attached, the search for a director should heat up.