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U puts tyke series atop ‘Wish’ list

Lethcoe's book works for Universal

Universal Pictures has acquired rights to adapt Jason Lethcoe’s upcoming kids book “Tales From the Wishworks Factory” in a deal worth up to mid-six figures.

Underground Films, which also manages Lethcoe’s film efforts, is set to produce.

Lethcoe’s last tome, “Amazing Adventures From Zoom’s Academy” published by Random House, was adapted by Revolution into “The Return of Zoom,” starring Tim Allen and Courteney Cox and skedded for release Aug. 11.

This tale, which Lethcoe hopes to turn into a series, takes place in a magical bureaucracy where wishes on Earth are granted — but only if the wishers use proper protocol (no telling anyone else, eyes must be closed, etc.).

When a kid manages to successfully get his birthday wish for unlimited wishes past the wish granters in the Children’s Birthday Wishes Dept. (ages 3 to 10), it sets off a battle between the Wishworks and its archrivals, the Curseworks.

Underground partners Nick Osborne and Trevor Engelson will produce the pic. Lethcoe is exec producing.

“We’re looking at it like a big franchise,” Engelson said. “You can spin it off a million ways.”

Lethcoe is still shopping publishing rights for “Wishworks.” In addition to “Zoom,” Underground is producing “License to Wed” for Warner Bros. and “Black Autumn” at Fox 2000.

For U, veep Jeffrey Kirschenbaum and creative exec David Ortiz are overseeing “Wishworks.”

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