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‘Clifford the Big Red Dog’ Movie Fetches New Director

Walt Becker will direct Paramount Pictures’ live-action/CG hybrid movie adaptation of “Clifford the Big Red Dog.”

The studio began developing the project last year when it hired Justin Malen to pen the screenplay about the 25-foot-tall dog. Ellen Rapoport is re-writing the script.

Silvertongue Films’ Deborah Forte will produce the film, based on Scholastic’s book series by Norman Bridwell. Jared Mass is overseeing the project for Paramount.

The first book centered on a young girl who received a red puppy for her birthday that grew to be 25 feet tall. It was published by Scholastic in 1963, leading to more than 60 titles and 127 million copies in print. Clifford is Scholastic’s official mascot.

Scholastic produced the “Clifford the Big Red Dog” TV series, which which originally aired on PBS Kids from 2000 to 2003. The “Clifford the Big Red Dog” movie had been in development at Universal for several years with the studio announcing in 2014 that it would be released in 2016. Paramount picked up the rights after Universal’s option lapsed.

Becker’s credits include “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip,” “Old Dogs,” “Van Wilder,” and “Wild Hogs.” He also created the TBS sitcom “Glory Daze,” which revolved around a group of college freshmen who pledge a fraternity in 1986. It aired for a season before being canceled. Becker is repped by Paradigm and Luber Roklin.

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