Disney taps Shankman for ‘Stories’

Studio reups first-look deal with director

Disney has set “Hairspray” helmer Adam Shankman to direct “Bedtime Stories,” a live-action comedy to begin production in August.

Andrew Gunn will produce.

Deal comes as the studio has reupped for one year its first-look deal with Shankman and his Offspring Entertainment partner Jennifer Gibgot.

While Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group production president Oren Aviv has so far been very selective with live-action greenlights, he said “Bedtime Stories” is exactly the kind of film he wants to make. It’s a family-themed comedy that can be programmed either as a summer or holiday tentpole.

Matt Lopez script revolves around a harried architect whose life is turned upside down when the lavish bedtime stories he tells his niece and nephew begin to come true. Shankman, Gibgot and Ann Marie Sanderlin are exec producers.

Project began as an idea by Disney exec Jason Reed; Lopez was assigned it while working in Disney’s inhouse writer’s program. Reed and Gunn brought in Shankman, and by the time Lopez was done rewriting it, “Bedtime Stories” had turned into a large-scale film.

Shankman got his Disney deal after directing the hits “Bringing Down the House” and “The Pacifier” for the Mouse. He said he wanted to return after directing “Cheaper by the Dozen 2” for Fox and then working for New Line on “Hairspray,” the adaptation of the Broadway musical that opens in July.

Offspring produced “Step Up” for Disney and just wrapped the Sandra Bullock starrer “Premonition.” Shankman and Gibgot are also developing a “Topper” remake that Shankman hopes to direct with Steve Martin starring, as well as a live-action Aladdin film being scripted by Bill Kelly (“Enchanted”).

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