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Mark Waters circles ‘Mr. Popper’s Penguins’

Director eyes Fox's adaptation of the 1938 children's book

Mark Waters is circling to direct 20th Century Fox’s “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” based on the beloved 1938 children’s book.

Actors possibly eyeing a role in the family pic include Jim Carrey, Jack Black and Owen Wilson.

Initially, helmer Noah Baumbach and thesp Ben Stiller were contemplating teaming on “Mr. Popper,” but are no longer involved with the project.

Fox is keen on Waters, whose previous directing projects include “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past,” “Freaky Friday” and “Mean Girls.”

John Davis is producing “Penguins” via his production company Davis Entertainment, which has a first-look deal with Fox.

Fox acquired screen rights to the book a year ago, setting scribes Sean Anders and John Morris to adapt.”Mr. Popper” is the tale of a house painter whose dreams of Arctic exploration prompt him to write letters to real explorers. One of them sends him a penguin, which he keeps in an icebox. Soon, Mr. Popper receives a female penguin from a zoo and before he knows it, he has a litter of 12 beaked birds.

When the penguins start to eat him out of house and home, Mr. Popper forms Popper’s Performing Penguins, a stage act that goes on tour and causes mayhem at every stop.Waters and Carrey are repped by CAA. Black is repped by WME; Wilson, UTA.

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