Shawn Levy to Direct Classic Tale of Ali Baba's 'Forty Thieves' at Fox
This year, director Shawn Levy has worked on two very different films. This Is Where I Leave You was a touching family drama with plenty of comedy, and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb is a big, fun family friendly adventure. Now it sounds like he's heading into epic territory at Fox as The Wrap reports Levy is set to direct Forty Thieves, a new adaptation of the classic tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, which most people are probably familiar with because of Disney's Aladdin franchise. However, this won't be a straight-up action epic as it's said to be an adventure movie with some "strong comedic undertones."
The trade cites Guardians of the Galaxy and Pirates of the Caribbean as apt comparisons for the film. The original story follows a poor woodcutter who discovers the secret of a thieves' den, entered with the phrase "Open Sesame." But when the thieves learn this, they try to kill Ali Baba, and set off a chase worthy of many heist adventures. However, it sounds like this will be a completely different take on the material with the lead being a character named Allen, and the young actors up for the role including Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games), Dan Stevens (The Guest) and Evan Peters (X-Men: Days of Future Past).
Levy gets a lot of flack for the films he's directed in the past, and rightfully so, since he's directed some pretty terrible movies. But at the same time, I've enjoyed the Night at the Museum franchise for what it is, and found a lot to like about Real Steel as well. It sounds like the film is early in development though since details on who wrote the script haven't been revealed, and there's no timetable for when production will start. But Levy will also produce the film by way of his 21 Laps production banner in addition to directing, and we'll see how this project pans out down the road.