CG pic to be based on book favored by topper Pascal

Sony Pictures Animation has optioned Judi Barrett’s children’s book “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” and is in negotiations with “Dude, Where’s My Car?” producer Wayne Rice to adapt the screenplay for a CG animated feature.

Published in 1982 by Simon & Schuster, “Cloudy” is the story of a tiny town, Chewandswallow, where the weather comes in at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Rain can be soup or juice, snow is mashed potatoes and the wind blows in hamburger storms. However, when the weather takes a turn for the worse, the town finds itself besieged by food and must figure out what to do.

Overseeing the project are SPA exec VPs Penny Finkelman Cox and Sandra Rabins, along with VP of creative affairs Nate Hopper.

The book is a favorite of Columbia Pictures chair Amy Pascal. Sony Pictures Entertainment vice chairman Yair Landau brought the project into the studio.

SPA was launched late last spring with the hire of former DreamWorks animation execs Cox and Rabins, who supervised the creation of “Shrek.” Among their projects in development is “Astro Boy.”

Rice, who’s repped by CAA, is producing sequel “Seriously Dude, Where’s My Car?” for 20th Century Fox. Previous screenwriting credits include “Suicide Kings,” “Class Act” and “Only You.” He co-wrote “Sonny Bright,” which is in development at the Farrelly brothers’ Conundrum Entertainment.

“Cloudy” was illustrated by Ron Barrett and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers and by Aladdin Paperbacks, both imprints of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. The Gotham Group repped the publisher in the deal.

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