Mark Waters & Maybe Jim Carrey for Mr. Popper's Penguins?
Uh oh, what is Fox doing? We first heard that an adaptation of Mr. Popper's Penguins was in the works at 20th Century Fox back in April with Ben Stiller and director Noah Baumbach attached, but they both fell out of the project a month later. Now LA Times' 24 Frames reports that Fox is looking to hire director Mark Waters, of Freaky Friday, Mean Girls, The Spiderwick Chronicles and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, to take over with Jim Carrey potentially taking the lead role. Apparently none of this is confirmed, by anyone, but this is what they've "heard" so we'll report it as just a rumor for now. Word is that Carrey is not at all a lock.
This is such a formulaic and uninspired decision that it just pains me to write, but Fox is the king of hybrid movies right now with their Alvin and the Chipmunks series pulling in a combined $804 million worldwide (so far). With Baumbach and Stiller, Mr. Popper's Penguins had the potential to be a quirky Where the Wild Things Are-like film, but now it just sounds like it'll be another cheesy hybrid family comedy, which I guess suits the book, but isn't as wild and imaginative and creative as I was hoping it would be. Apparently other actors like Owen Wilson and Jack Black are in the mix for Carrey's role, but nothing has been confirmed.
It sounds like this adaptation of Richard & Florence Atwater's Newbery Award Winning children's book Mr. Popper's Penguins, about a house painter who ends up caring for 12 performing penguins, is still only in the very early development stage. I'm excited for this only because it's a classic book from my childhood and it's a fun story, but I'm worried about it in the hands of someone like Mark Waters. Anyone else concerned?