Children's book franchise set for bigscreen
“Precious” producers Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness have selected their next project: family pic “Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer,” based on the popular children’s book series.John Schultz (“Aliens in the Attic”) will direct from an adapted script by Kathy Waugh and Megan McDonald, author of the books. Schultz begins lensing in August in Los Angeles. The Magnesses, who are hoping to spin the film into a franchise, will produce through their Smokewood Entertainment shingle. CAA is packaging the film and repping North American rights. McDonald’s books chronicle the humorous adventures of third-grader Judy Moody. There are eight titles in the series, with more than 12 million copies in print. All are illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. A spin-off series features Judy Moody’s brother Stink. Schultz told Daily Variety the film will appeal to both girls and boys, since it will feature Judy and Stink. He said the story also will engage adults. “Megan McDonald’s books are really smart and funny. More than anything, they remind me of Charlie Brown and the Peanuts,” Schultz said. Schultz said the Magnesses optioned the film rights to McDonald’s series after their daughter read one of the books. The Judy Moody tomes have been translated into 23 languages. Bobbi Sue Luther and Andrew Sugarman are exec producing the feature adaptation. Luther also has been tapped to oversee development and production at Smokewood, which is readying docu short “Amongst Brothers,” directed by Donna Dewey, for fests this fall.