×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Playtone warms up to ‘Ember’

'Scissorhands' scribe Thompson in talks to adapt

As they prepare to leave the station on “The Polar Express,” Playtone partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman have made a deal for another family film with tentpole potential.

They’ve bought Jeanne DuPrau’s young adult bestseller “The City of Ember,” and are negotiating with “Edward Scissorhands” scribe Caroline Thompson to adapt it and Gil Kenan to make his live-action directing debut. Walden Media is in talks to come aboard as co-producer and financier.

In the futuristic sci-fi fantasy adventure, Earth’s citizens have moved to underground cities when the planet’s atmosphere grows too toxic. The focus is on two teens: One longs to be a messenger because the job will allow her to venture above ground, while the other dreams of working underground to repair a generator whose failure will doom the city’s power supply.

The mid-six figure, Metropolitan-brokered deal includes an option on a sequel novel DuPrau is writing. Playtone’s Diana Choi brought in the material.

Kennan, who made the live-action/animation short “The Lark,” is currently making his directorial debut on Sony’s “Monster House,” a motion capture animated film produced by Steven Spielberg and Bob Zemeckis. Zemeckis directed and produced with Playtone “Polar Express.”

More Film

  • Octavia Spencer Bryce Dallas Howard

    Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard to Reunite for Comedy 'Fairy Tale Ending'

    Octavia Spencer and Bryce Dallas Howard will reunite for the ensemble comedy “Fairy Tale Ending.” Jim Hecht (“Ice Age: The Meltdown) and Tracy McMillan (“Marvel’s Runaways”) are writing the screenplay. Howard will also produce the Universal movie through her Nine Muses Entertainment alongside Eric Carlson and Susan Carlson. Seth MacFarlane and Erica Huggins will produce [...]

  • Robert Smith, Longtime Executive at DuArt

    Robert Smith, Longtime Executive at New York's DuArt Film Labs, Dies at 88

    Robert Smith, a longtime executive with New York’s DuArt Film Labs, died Jan. 11 in Montvale, N.J. He was 88. Smith spent some 62 years with DuArt, the film processing and post-production facility founded in 1922 in the penthouse of an automobile garage in Midtown. Smith rose to president of DuArt before retiring in 2015. [...]

  • Bird Box

    Los Angeles On-Location Feature Filming Surges 12.2% in 2018

    On-location feature filming in Greater Los Angeles expanded impressively in 2018, gaining 12.2% to 4,377 shooting days, according to FilmL.A. Production activity for feature films rose 15.5% to 1,078 shooting days during the fourth quarter, with 146 days coming from projects receiving California tax credits — including Netflix’s “Bird Box,” Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a [...]

  • 'Ghostbusters': First Look at Jason Reitman's

    Watch the First Teaser for Jason Reitman's 'Ghostbusters' Sequel

    If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, it’s time to watch a teaser for Jason Reitman’s “Ghostbusters” forthcoming film. Sony Pictures released a first look at the upcoming movie, a sequel to the 1984 classic. The footage shows a glimpse of the memorable station wagon Ecto-1. The studio announced on Tuesday that the wheels are [...]

  • Anne Hathaway

    Anne Hathaway to Star in Robert Zemeckis' 'The Witches' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Anne Hathaway has closed a deal to star as the Grand High Witch in Robert Zemeckis and Warner Bros.’ “The Witches” adaptation. Variety first reported that Hathaway was holding the offer for both that and “Sesame Street,” and at the time, scheduling for both films were holding up dealmaking. With those issues settled, Hathaway is [...]

  • Film Ratings Overhauled in the U.K.,

    Film Ratings Overhauled in the U.K. With Tougher Restrictions on Sexual Content

    The body that oversees film ratings in the U.K. is tightening its age restrictions and giving movies with certain types of sexual content older age ratings. The British Board of Film Classification said the changes were in response to public demand after a consultation that took in the views of over 10,000 people in the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content