In a move that bolsters John Hughes’ shingle at Warner Bros., the “Dennis the Menace” writer/producer just agreed to write, produce and helm “The Bee,” the studio said Monday. No talent has been announced.
Sources said the original script by Hughes, a comedy about an architect’s calamitous attempts to develop farmland, was passed on last week by 20th Century Fox, where Hughes has a six-picture deal. Fox exex could not be reached for comment.
A source close to the project described the “Bee” situation at Fox as “benevolent creative differences. Really more a difference of rhythms than Fox actually passing on the project.” Hughes’ next Fox outing, “Baby’s Day Out,” directed by Patrick Johnson, starts lensing Aug. 23.
“The Bee,” which sources call a comedy about “geographic infringement” between man and bee, will start shooting next January in and around Chicago, which is familiar Hughes territory from such films as “The Breakfast Club, “”Sixteen Candles” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
In characterizing the “Bee” budget, Hughes exex would only refer to earlier Hughes fare, calling those budget choices “reasonable” and “intelligent.”
Though “Bee” has some family qualities to it, the pic has not yet been slotted for a release by WB’s Family Entertainment banner.
“It is not as easily discernible family fare as ‘Dennis,’ ” said Hughes Entertainment prexy Alan Rich. “It doesn’t seem to have the immediate family tag.” He added that the decision to choose either WB or its family label for distribution would be made by Hughes and WB brass shortly.
“Here at Warner Bros. we place a high premium on the development of good relationships with talented filmmakers,” said WB worldwide production prexy Bruce Berman in a release. “And we’re proud that our efforts have been rewarded by our partnership with John Hughes.”
According to Rich, the shooting sked will most likely start in the fall, go on hiatus until New Year’s and pick up in January.