Miramax plays ‘Cricket’ in N.Y.

Scribe duo to adapt children's book for feature

Miramax Films has hired Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi to adapt George Selden’s “The Cricket in Times Square,” the classic kids yarn about a menagerie of New York animals, for the bigscreen.

First published in 1960, book centers on Chester, a cricket from Connecticut who rides into Gotham in a picnic basket and becomes an overnight musical star. He befriends Harry, a good-natured alley cat, and Tucker, a fast-talking mouse, and together they set out to save a local newsstand from bankruptcy.

Chirping cash registers

The book has sold several million copies and spawned several sequels, six of which have been optioned by Miramax.

McRobb and Viscardi, repped by CAA, have collaborated on a series of projects.

Duo created, wrote and produced the Nickelodeon series “Kablam!” and “The Adventures of Pete and Pete”; wrote and co-exec produced the USA skein “The War Next Door”; and wrote and co-produced 2000 feature “Snow Day,” for Nickelodeon and Paramount. The two also wrote the feature script “Angus Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging” for Nick and Par.

Targeting tots

The momentum behind “Cricket,” a property that Miramax acquired late last year, reflects an effort by the mini-major to create a broad slate of kids pics. Miramax has not yet determined, however, whether “Cricket” will be fully animated or a mix of CGI and live action.

Miramax VP of development Jennifer Wachtel and exec VP of development Julie Goldstein are overseeing the project with co-prexy of production Bob Osher.

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