Disney wants to swim with “Dolphin Boy,” securing the film rights to the Israeli documentary that Mandeville Films will adapt into a feature. “The Bucket List” scribe Justin Zackham will pen the script.
The docu, helmed by Dani Menkin and Yonatan Nir, revolves around a teenager from an Arab village in northern Israel who is traumatized from a violent attack and slowly recovers with the help of dolphins.
Menkin and Nir also wrote the film, which made the rounds of the festival circuit in 2011, garnering positive reviews.
Studio sees the potential film as one of its lower-budgeted family pics, in the vein of “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” that it can schedule alongside high-profile tentpoles.
Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman will produce.
Duo have “The Muppets” sequel prepping to lense in London for Disney, and they have two pics set to bow: Summit Entertainment’s “Warm Bodies” and Relativity Media’s comedy “21 and Over.” They’re also developing R.J. Palacio’s pre-teen novel “Wonder,” which John August is considering adapting for Lionsgate.
The Weinstein Co. recently wrapped the Zackham-scripted comedic biopic “One Chance,” about “Britain’s Got Talent” winner Paul Potts. David Frankel (“The Devil Wears Prada”) directed.