Par, Nick draw scribe into ‘Spider’

Script to cover first three books in series

Paramount and Nickelodeon have tapped David Berenbaum (“Elf,” “Haunted Mansion”) to pen family-adventure “Arthur Spiderwick’s Guide to the Fantastic World Around You.”

Studio optioned the six-book mystery series late last year for Nick and APG to produce with an eye to developing a franchise-type vehicle. Simon & Schuster have since published the first two “Spiderwick Chronicles” books, “The Field Guide” and “The Seeing Stone.”

Berenbaum’s script is expected to cover the first three books, written by fantasy writer Holly Black and writer-illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi. Stories center on boy twins and their older teenaged sister who find an alternate world of fairies and goblins in their great-uncle’s rundown house.

APG’s Mark Canton, Nick prexy Albie Hecht and Gotham Group CEO Ellen Goldsmith-Vein will produce the film, with Nick’s Julia Pistor exec producing. APG’s Steve Barnett and Gotham Group’s Julie Kane-Ritsch are co-producers; Black and DiTerlizzi are co-exec producers. Nick’s Damian Ross developed the project.

Berenbaum, a graduate of the Disney inhouse screenwriters program, is also writing Disney’s remake of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.”

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