Columbia slow to nab ‘Swift’

Sonnenfeld, Grabinski to reimagine stories

Columbia Pictures has nabbed “Swift,” a pitch by Barry Sonnenfeld and Ben David Grabinski that is described as a reimagining of the Tom Swift adventure novels.

Project is being developed as a Sonnenfeld directing vehicle.

The Tom Swift character first appeared in a series of books that launched in 1910. The original books were outlined by Edward Stratemeyer, written by ghostwriters and credited to pseudonym Victor Appleton.

Sonnenfeld and Grabinski’s version would feature Swift as one-half of a father-son team who are among the greatest inventors of all time.

Albie Hecht (“Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events”), who had been developing a Swift project of his own, will produce the Col project alongside Sonnenfeld.

Though Hollywood has long been intrigued by the boy genius, Tom Swift has yet to make it to the bigscreen. Twentieth Century Fox put together an expensive Tom Swift musical in the late 1960s as a Gene Kelly directing vehicle, but it was nixed at the eleventh hour. Another Swift pic was planned in the mid-’70s, but it was also cancelled.

Sonnenfeld, who most recently helmed “RV” for Col, is attached to direct and produce MGM’s action comedy “The How-To Guide for Saving the World” from Grabinski’s script.