Fox acquired rights to classic kids book last year

Jim Carrey has concluded his deal to star in 20th Century Fox’s family pic “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” the bigscreen adaptation of the beloved 1938 children’s book that will modernize the storyline.

Carrey has been circling to play the lead since June (Daily Variety, 6/22). Mark Waters is directing.

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

In the film, Mr. Popper is a high-powered, New York buisness man who suddenly inherits six penguins. Taking care of the animals is no easy matter, and he quickly hits major hurtles, both at home and at work. But along the way, he learns the value of family and friendship–human and otherwise.

Fox acquired screen rights to Richard and Florence Atwater’s classic kids book a year ago. Tome tells the tale of a house painter whose dreams of Arctic exploration prompt him to write letters to real explorers.

One of those explorers sends Mr. Popper 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.

Carrey and Waters are repped by CAA.

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