DreamWorks Animation has snapped up another book adaptation to add to its upcoming film slate, with a rather unusual name at the helm.
Deadline has recently reported that Jason Reitman will write and direct an adaptation of the picture book The Adventures of Beekle: The Uninmaginary Friend for the studio.
This is the first new film project to be commissioned into development under the guise of newly-appointed Co-Presidents of Feature Animation Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria following the company-wide restructuring earlier this year.
The plot of the book (and the film) revolves around “an imaginary friend who is so odd and so unique that no kid could possibly imagine him. So he decides to take matters into his own hands, and sets off on an unimaginable journey to the land of people in search of a best friend.”
Written and illustrated by Dan Santat, the book was a recipient of this year’s prestigious Caldecott Medal for Children’s picture books.
DWA development exec Damon Ross (who brought the project to the studio) and Head of Development Greg Taylor will oversee for the studio.
“Welcoming Jason onto this project is a true coup, as his incredible ability to tell heartfelt character-driven stories with a signature comedic tone makes him the perfect choice to bring this beloved book to the big screen,” said Arnold and Soria in a joint statement. “We immediately fell in love with the concept of ‘Beekle’ and know that Jason will create something truly special from this fantastic source material.”
This will be Jason’s first foray into feature animation, with an entire resume consisting of comedies and dramas that span the entire spectrum of both (Thank You for Smoking, Juno, Up in the Air, and Young Adult to name a few). In any other situation, this would be an unusual match-up considering what he’s done before, but his ability to tell character-driven stories (as mentioned above) may prove him to be the right fit for the film.
“I was book shopping with my daughter, when a little tooth-shaped character in a paper crown stole our hearts,” Reitman added. “His name was Beekle, and I’m honored to now be adapting Santat’s charming story into a feature film.”
What do you think? Any thoughts on the news? Are you looking forward to Beekle?
Edited by: Kelly Conley