Disney has found a new director for the adaptation of the Judith Viorst children’s book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. A few weeks ago, The Kids Are All Right helmer Lisa Cholodenko exited the project, but now Deadline reports that Disney is in talks with Miguel Arteta (Cedar Rapids) to direct. Cholodenko wrote the script alongside Rob Lieber, but it’s unknown if Arteta will commission a rewrite or if they’ll go ahead and move forward with the existing screenplay.
Steve Carell is attached to star in the film, which centers on a kid who wakes up with gum in his hair and whose day goes downhill from there. Production is hoping to get underway this fall, and with a new director already in place it appears that Disney will indeed make that start date. Arteta has plenty of experience blending comedy with drama as he previously helmed the features Youth in Revolt and Cedar Rapids, as well as a number of TV episodes for shows like Enlightened, Six Feet Under, and New Girl.
Disney is on the hunt for a new director for its feature film adaptation of the popular children’s book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. The project has had a fairly rocky road to production, as The Kids Are All Right director Lisa Cholodenko first signed on to direct in May of 2011 and after securing Steve Carell to star, Fox decided to put the film into turnaround. Disney picked the project up last fall and development continued with Cholodenko writing the script alongside Rob Lieber, but now Deadline reports that Cholodenko is exiting the film. No specific reason is given, but one assumes creative differences of some sort are the culprit.
The book is about a kid who wakes up with gum in his hair, and whose day goes downhill from there. Carell is still attached to play the kid’s father with Shawn Levy producing, and Disney has started the search for a new director with an eye towards beginning production this fall. I was excited about the prospect of Cholodenko tackling a family film because I figured she wouldn’t talk down to the audience and would hopefully turn out a thoughtful and entertaining feature, so hopefully Disney finds a suitable replacement. Read a synopsis for the book after the jump.
Although the development on the adaptation of Judith Viorst’s children’s book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is fairly well along, Fox will reportedly shop the project to other studios. The live-action picture was set to star Steve Carell as “Ben,” who is a new character introduced to fill out the original story. Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right) was also previously in place to direct from a script she co-wrote with Rob Lieber. Hit the jump for more on Carell’s character and what this recent turnaround means for the picture.
Steve Carell is in negotiations to lead the live-action adaptation of the children’s book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. The book, which was one of my favorite as a child, is about a kid who wakes up with gum in his hair, and whose day goes downhill from there. According to Deadline, Carell is in talks to play “Ben”, although I don’t recall if that character is in the book. The feature film adaptation will likely add characters to pad out the story, so it’s possible “Ben” could be a new addition. Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right) is set to direct.
Nabbing Carell is a boost for any project, although it’s a double-edged sword with the actor’s busy schedule since waiting on him could delay shooting. Hit the jump for a synopsis of Alexander and the Terrible…, and a refresher on Carell’s other projects. The popular actor will be seen later this year in Seeking a Friend for the End of the World and Great Hope Springs.
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.
20th Century Fox and Shawn Levy are teaming-up to adapt Judith Viorst’s children’s picture book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day into a high-concept family comedy. One of my favorite books when I was child, Alexander is about the title character waking up with gum in his hair and his day getting progressively worse to the point where he’s threatens to move to Australia. It’s a funny and charming little book. According to Variety, Rob Lieber will pen the adapted screenplay, which revolves around family members collectively enduring the worst day of their lives. Who wants to bet that there will be slapstick and fart jokes galore? I suppose it could be similar to the book except you would need to replace “funny and charming” with “predictable and soulless”.
Then again, I thought the adaptation of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (another childhood favorite) would be an abomination and that movie turned out to be one of my favorite films of last year. However, Levy (who directed such classics as the remakes of Cheaper by the Dozen and The Pink Panther) wasn’t involved in the making of Cloudy. While Levy isn’t attached to direct Alexander at this point, I still find his involvement to be terrible, horrible, no good, and very bad.