Benton's children's book headed for bigscreen

East of Doheny is concocting a feature toon with the Gotham Group based on the “Franny K. Stein: Mad Scientist” children’s book series.

East of Doheny optioned Jim Benton’s series about a quirky girl scientist for the bigscreen, and founder Kelly Gonda will produce the first installment with Tracey Trench. Gotham prexy-CEO and Ellen Goldsmith-Vein will exec produce with Julie Kane-Ritsch and Benton.

Simon & Schuster has published six volumes in the series, with the seventh installment slated for next year.

“We were immediately attracted to Franny’s hilarious, quirky girl mad scientist and the stories’ positive themes,” Gonda said. “Franny’s stories are essentially about being yourself and maintaining your individuality in a world that pushes for conformity.”

East of Doheny is prepping an adaptation of Wendelin Van Draanen’s young-adult novel “Flipped,” by Nora and Delia Ephron. Company is producing “Grey Gardens” on Broadway.

The Gotham Group is producing a bigscreen adaptation of “The Spiderwick Chronicles” for Paramount’s Nickelodeon banner and is exec producer on Aardman Animations’ smallscreen “Creature Comforts” for the Eye.

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