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Shawn Levy and the 'Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day'

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July 26, 2010

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

In the line of cinematic adaptations of some of my favorite childhood books, I am sad to say that I've never been completely satisfied with one. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the live-action one) completely missed the mark, Jumanji has its moments and despite all the hipster hype, Where the Wild Things Are just didn't move me as much as I'd hoped. Consequently, I'm a little apprehensive as Variety reports 20th Century Fox and Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum, Date Night) are developing an adaptation of the children's book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day as a high-concept family comedy.

Judith Viorst's book follows on hell of a terrible day for youngster Alexander as he wakes up with gum in his hair, doesn't get a prize in his cereal, finds out he has a cavity, has lima beans for dinner and gets demoted to third best friend by his buddy Paul. There are plenty more terrible things that happen throughout his day, but we won't list them all here. Apparently The Jim Henson Co. held the rights to the film and has assigned them to Fox for the adaptation. I'm not exactly sure what will make the film so high-concept, but apparently it involves Alexander's entire family collectively enduring the worst day of their lives (wait, what?). Though The Jim Henson Co. brought the project to Levy's 21 Laps production banner for their success with family films, the project isn't necessarily being set up as a directing gig for Levy (but it's not fully ruled out either).

I've been a Shawn Levy apologist for awhile, and I maintain that he has a great eye for family entertainment. In addition, without saying too much, I have confidence that plenty of you will be surprised with what Levy can do with material outside of the fluffy family fare wheelhouse when more of Real Steel is revealed in the coming year or so. Levy is a guy who doesn't have a problem delivering softer material to an age appropriate audience, but can also deliver something grittier with more substance. I'm sure we'll be hearing more about Levy's future endeavors including this adaptation and more, so stay tuned! Anyone else excited for this?

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  • http://www.twitter.com/thatpj PJ
    It does sound interesting.
  • Peace Love & GaGa
    Oh my god I used to love this book when I was a kid!!! I'm pretty excited that's its getting acknowledged as a great book (for kids). I'm not sure how well it will do as a movie...but hey, I say go for it. I believe if you want to make a movie, then just do it. Don't listen to what anybody says. Its not like its gonna hurt me or anything, and if this movie does end up sucking, well then the book will still always be good. Just like remakes, if the reboot sucks, you can always go back to the original.
  • antioch
    this has major possibilities. oh, an Ethan, i think you're being pretty generous about where the wild things are. that movie was almost impossible to get through it was so bad

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