Jim Carrey, Jack Black, and Owen Wilson are reportedly under consideration to star as the titular character in Fox’s upcoming adaptation of the children’s book Mr. Popper’s Penguins; Mark Waters (Mean Girls) is in discussions to direct. This comes after Noah Baumbach and his Greenberg star Ben Stiller recently left the project. For more details and some thoughts on the project, hit the jump.
Today 24 Frames began to speculate as to what type of film the studio was hoping for, and it seems Fox is looking to make a more general audience comedy. While Stiller has had success in this mold with his Night at the Museum series, Baumbach’s involvement in the project didn’t make much sense. Perhaps if the studio was hoping for a Where The Wild Things Are type film, Baumbach would make sense, but the safer route was always to make a mainstream film. Without Baumbach, who left over “creative differences” (and this time I actually believe it), Stiller abandoned the project as well.
Enter Jim Carrey. If there’s one man goofy and charming enough to lead a film about a couple who adopt and take care of a group of penguins, it’s Jim Carrey, who is currently “circling” the role. The Wrap notes that Jack Black and Owen Wilson are also being considered, and they sit to fit the Carrey mold as well. That the studio is talking to Mark Waters, who also directed Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and Freaky Friday, makes their intentions pretty clear. This movie will be a broad family comedy. As a big fan of Richard and Florence Atwater’s classic novel, I hope Carrey and Waters can churn out a fun film.