May 3, 2011


Fox announced last summer that Shawn Levy will oversee the adaptation of the children’s book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  The last time Fox handed a picture book to Levy, he returned with more than a $1 billion in Night at the Museum box office across two movies.  Detractors of the Museum series will be relieved to know the studio is hiring from outside to direct Very Bad Day: Variety reports Fox is currently in negotiations with  The Kids Are All Right writer/director Lisa Cholodenko.

This may not approach the level of Spike Jonze arthousing Where the Wild Things Are, but it’s an interesting move to recruit a filmmaker known for more adult fare for a family film.  Ideally, Cholodenko is able to contribute nuance to the script by Rob Lieber that allows Very Bad Day to be better than your average kid flick.  We’ll see if Cholodenko and Fox can come to agreement, but it’s nice to know her voice is under consideration.

Written by Judith Viorst and illustrated by Ray Cruz, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day was first published in 1972.  Read the official synopsis after the jump.


He could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. He went to sleep with gum in his mouth and woke up with gum in his hair. When he got out of bed, he tripped over his skateboard and by mistake dropped his sweater in the sink while the water was running. He could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Nothing at all was right. Everything went wrong, right down to lima beans for supper and kissing on TV.

What do you do on a day like that? Well, you may think about going to Australia. You may also be glad to find that some days are like that for other people too. [Amazon]

Based on the illustration, I’m picturing 12-year-old Modern Family star Nolan Gould.  But I’ve never read the book.  Is he a good fit?

While mulling over Alexander, Cholodenko will continue development on a TV series for HBO.  Additionally, Cholodenko told the New York Times in February that she is attached to adapt the Tom Perrotta novel The Abstinence Teacher.

In further proof that nothing isn’t on Youtube, pleas enjoy the HBO musical(!) cartoon based on Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day:


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