Noah Baumbach Won't Actually Direct Mr. Popper's Penguins

April 30, 2010
Source: 24 Frames

Noah Baumbach / Ben Stiller & Mr. Popper's Penguins

Back on April Fool's Day we reported real news that Noah Baumbach and Ben Stiller might follow their collaboration on Greenberg with a different kind of film by adapting the Newbery Award Winning children's book Mr. Popper's Penguins. However, 24 Frames says that Baumbach has fallen away from the project and will not direct, and since Stiller's interest in the project was linked to Baumbach's involvement, there's a good chance he just might leave it behind as well. This is pretty disappointing news after Baumbach did such stellar work co-writing Wes Anderon's adaptation of another beloved children's book, Fantastic Mr. Fox.

The children's book follows a house painter and his wife who come into possession of a dozen penguins but soon find themselves in over their heads with feeding and other responsibilities. Apparently Baumbach's departure came from creative differences with the producers, and it's not surprising considering no matter how truly spectacular Fantastic Mr. Fox was, the film cost $45 million to make and only made $42 million worldwide. Bringing in a filmmaker with an aim at making more than generic family fare has its risks, but I'd rather see risks like that taken everyday than see a film go the way of Alvin and the Chipmunks or some equally godawful pile of excrement. So who should be directing Mr. Popper's Penguins instead?

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