You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

U, Imagine in ‘Curious’ monkey biz with Bird

Live action film back in spotlight

Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment are finalizing a deal with “The Iron Giant” helmer Brad Bird to develop the feature version of “Curious George.”

“George” has been in various stages of development at Imagine for several years, but the project was put on the back burner earlier this year, reportedly due to budget concerns and the pic’s special effects’ demands. At that time, Larry Guterman (“Antz”) was attached to direct.

With Bird on board, U and Imagine will look for a writer whom Bird can supervise on a rewrite of the screenplay.

Numerous writers have taken cracks at the screenplay over the years, including Mike Werb, Brian Levant, Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel, Pat Proft and Audrey Wells.

Based on the bestselling children’s books created by Margret Rey and her husband H.A. Rey, “George” follows the shenanigans of an accident-prone, mischievous monkey with a talent for trouble, and his master, the Man in the Yellow Hat.

Imagine prexy of production Michael Bostick is overseeing the pic’s development for the banner.

It’s little wonder that U and Imagine have re-ignited the project. With its widespread recognition and family appeal, “Curious George” has been regarded as major franchise material, with substantial ancillary value stemming from promotional and merchandising potential. Under a deal negotiated with the books’ publisher, U will share merchandising rights with Houghton-Mifflin.

Pic will be a combination live action/CGI production, and, while combining some of the animated flourishes he is known for, the pic should mark Bird’s first foray into live action directing. In addition to writing and directing the critically lauded “Iron Giant” for Warner Bros., Bird also wrote the 1987 feature “Batteries Not Included.”

Bird, who is repped by CAA, is writing and will direct “The Incredibles,” an animated feature about a family of superheroes, for Warner Bros.

His reps also are looking for a home for “Ray Gunn,” another animated feature scripted by Bird and Matthew Robbins. Originally developed at Turner Pictures, “Ray” has been described as a melange of Raymond Chandler and Buck Rogers, set in a streamlined city of the future.

More Film

  • 'The Dirt' Review: A Mötley Crüe

    Film Review: 'The Dirt'

    A long time ago, the words sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll carried a hint of danger. The lifestyle did, too, but I’m talking about the phrase. It used to sound cool (back around the time the word “cool” sounded cool). But sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll has long since passed into the realm [...]

  • James Newton Howard Danny Elfman

    New Trend in Concert Halls: Original Music by Movie Composers — No Film Required

    Movie and TV composers are in greater demand than ever for, surprisingly, new music for the concert hall. For decades, concert commissions for film composers were few and far between. The increasing popularity of John Williams’ film music, and his visibility as conductor of the Boston Pops in the 1980s and ’90s, led to his [...]

  • Idris Elba Netflix 'Turn Up Charlie'

    Idris Elba in Talks to Join Andy Serkis in 'Mouse Guard'

    Idris Elba is in negotiations to join Andy Serkis and Thomas Brodie-Sangster in Fox’s fantasy-action movie “Mouse Guard” with “Maze Runner’s” Wes Ball directing. Fox is planning a live-action movie through performance capture technology employed in the “Planet of the Apes” films, in which Serkis starred as the ape leader Caesar. David Peterson created, wrote, [...]

  • Zac Efron Amanda Seyfried

    Zac Efron, Amanda Seyfried Join Animated Scooby-Doo Film as Fred and Daphne

    Zac Efron has signed on to voice Fred Jones while Amanda Seyfried will voice Daphne Blake in Warner Bros.’ animated Scooby-Doo feature film “Scoob.” It was revealed earlier this month that Will Forte had been set to voice Norville “Shaggy” Rogers, while Gina Rodriguez would be voicing Velma Dinkley. The mystery-solving teens and their talking [...]

  • 'Staff Only' Review: Cultures And Values

    Film Review: 'Staff Only'

    Marta (Elena Andrada) is 17, from Barcelona and alternately bored and mortified to be on a Christmas vacation to Senegal with her estranged dad, Manel (Sergi López), and annoying little brother, Bruno (Ian Samsó). For her, the freedoms of imminent adulthood, such as the occasional poolside mojito, are tantalizing close but still technically forbidden, rather [...]

  • Rocketman

    Candid 'Rocketman' Dares to Show Elton John as 'Vulnerable,' 'Damaged,' 'Ugly'

    Elton John movie “Rocketman” dares to portray the singer’s personality early in his career to have been, at times, “ugly,” Taron Egerton – who plays the pop star – told an audience at London’s Abbey Road Studios Friday, following a screening of 15 minutes of footage from the film. It is a candid portrayal, showing [...]

  • Ben Affleck

    Ben Affleck's Addiction Drama Set for Awards-Season Release

    Warner Bros. has given Ben Affleck’s untitled addiction drama an awards-season-friendly release date of Oct. 18. The film, which has been known previously as “The Has-Been” and “Torrance,” is directed by Gavin O’Connor and stars Affleck as a former basketball player struggling with addiction, which has led to him losing his wife. As part of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content