Disney is developing the dramedy movie “Dumplin'” based on the upcoming Julie Murphy young adult novel, Variety has learned.
Disney acquired the movie rights preemptively and is in talks with Michael Costigan to produce the film. HarperCollins is scheduled to publish the Texas-set novel through its Balzer + Bray imprint on Sept. 15.
The novel centers on a confident teen girl — named Dumplin’ by her former beauty queen mom — taking a job at the local fast-food joint. She meets a former jock whom she likes and he seems to like her back. When she begins to doubt herself, she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering a beauty pageant to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any skinny girl does.
Costigan and Matt Tolmach are producing Sony’s upcoming “The Rosie Project,” starring Jennifer Lawrence. Costigan’s producing credits include “Stoker” and “Out of the Furnace.”
“Dumplin'” follows Murphy’s novel “Side Effects May Vary.” She was represented by Paradigm on behalf of Molly Jaffa of Folio Literary Management in the deal.