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U and Hanks going ‘Wild’

Verbinski taking helm

Universal Pictures, Gore Verbinski and Tom Hanks are going “Where the Wild Things Are.”

The studio is setting up a live-action/computer graphics animated version of Maurice Sendak’s famed children’s book.

Verbinski (“Mousehunt”) is attached to helm and Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s Playtone Prods., along with Sendak and John B. Carls of Wild Things Prods., are producing.

Pic had been in development with Wild Things when the company had a deal with Sony’s TriStar Pictures. It came to U after Wild Things partnered with Hanks’ Playtone Prods. last year.

Hanks, whose acknowledged favorite children’s book is “Where the Wild Things Are,” became involved with Wild Things Prods. when he met Carls during the production of “That Thing You Do” three years ago.

Eric Singer, who wrote “The Sky is Falling,” adapting the book as a screenplay.

Pic, which has long been a favorite for children all over the world, is about a boy named Max who discovers, tames and becomes king of a far-away land of giant friendly monsters called wild things.

Universal expects the pic to carry a significant budget with major special computer graphics effects, but the studio has yet to outline a spending plan for the pic before a script is completed.

Merchandising, however, will likely play a key role for the studio.

Universal prexy of production Stacey Snider and co-prexy Kevin Misher will oversee the project for the studio.

Verbinski is known as a commercials helmer. Though “Mousehunt” is his only feature credit, he is attached to a number of projects in development around town.

He was repped by Spencer Baumgarten of 3 Arts Entertainment in the deal and attorney Warren Dern.