Film goes from toon tale to live-action N.Y. adventure

Disney has tapped its “Bringing Down the House” helmer Adam Shankman to next direct “Enchanted,” a romantic fable that mixes live action and animation.

Long a priority for the studio, the film is being produced by Barry Josephson and Barry Sonnenfeld. Sunil Perkash will exec produce.

Scripted by Bill Kelly and rewritten by “Toy Story 2” scribe Rita Hsiao and most recently by “Antz” scribe Todd Alcott, “Enchanted” begins as the animated tale about a beautiful young peasant girl who meets and falls in love with a prince. Promptly banished from the cartoon kingdom by the evil queen, she lands in New York, and from there the film becomes a live-action endeavor. She falls in love in Gotham, but the storybook ending becomes complicated when the animated prince ventures to the city to find her. The evil queen takes a road trip as well, bent on destroying her.

Disney topper Nina Jacobson has made it a studio priority to keep its brightest directing talent, as evidenced by repeat business done with helmers like Wes Anderson, M. Night Shyamalan and, most recently, John Lee Hancock, who moved from “The Rookie” to “The Alamo.”

The UTA-repped Shankman is clearly in that category after helming “Bringing Down the House,” the year’s first breakout comedy hit with a domestic gross of over $100 million. The studio has already booked Shankman to helm a remake of “Topper” with “House” star Steve Martin.

Discussions are under way for Shankman to make the film his next effort, subject to landing the right actress to play the princess. Stars like Reese Witherspoon and Kate Hudson have been courted, but as yet no deal is in place.

Shankman is also attached to direct “The Jetsons” for Warner Bros., producer Denise Di Novi and Hanna Barbera Prods. A start date has not yet been set.

“Topper,” the remake of the 1937 movie that originally starred Cary Grant, will reteam him with “House” star Steve Martin and producer David Hoberman. Shankman and Jennifer Gibgot will produce pic with Hoberman under their Disney-based Offspring label. Mandeville prexy Todd Lieberman will exec produce.

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