Based on the popular childrens’ book, the project was originally acquired by DreamWorks in 2007 with Nina Jacobson producing. When DreamWorks left Paramount and signed a distribution deal with Disney in 2009, the rights stayed with Paramount and the studio has since been trying to find a helmer.
As part of a series of books by P.B. Kerr, the original story follows a family of genies who disguise themselves as human, but suddenly obtain the ability to grant wishes.
Jacobson is still producing with David Guion and Michael Handelman penning the script from an earlier version by Lee Hall.
The project is still in early development but given how long it has been since there has been any news on the project, it’s a sign production is getting closer. A sought-after helmer of commercials, Rugan has not yet directed any features.
Paramount had no comment.
Studios are working hard to find another book series with franchise potential now that the “Harry Potter” series has ended.
In October, Illumination Entertainment and Universal got out the gate early to the rights to the “Lockwood & Co.” series by Jonathan Stroud before the first book in the series had even been published.
The Verve-repped Rugan has a handful of projects in development including the Warner Bros. pic “The Genius Files.”