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‘Fourteenth Goldfish’ Animated Movie in Works From Skydance

David Ellison’s Skydance Media is developing Jennifer L. Holm’s best-selling children’s book “The Fourteenth Goldfish” as an animated comedy movie.

Skydance announced on Friday that it had bought movie rights to “Goldfish,” and signed Ted Melfi and Kimberly Quinn to write and produce. Victor Maldonado and Alfredo Torres from Headless Productions will direct the film with Alessandro Carloni serving as executive producer.

“The Fourteenth Goldfish” centers on a 12-year-old girl whose middle-school life is made even more complicated when her estranged grandfather shows up at her door, having reversed his age to 14. Together, they must go on an adventure to stop the technology from falling into the wrong hands.

“We fell in love with ‘The Fourteenth Goldfish’ immediately and were passionate about telling this story featuring characters of all ages and the unique comedic circumstances that connects a young girl with her grandfather at an important time in both their lives,” said Bill Damaschke, president of animation and family entertainment. “These incredible filmmakers are the perfect team to bring this story to life, and we couldn’t be happier they chose Skydance as the place to realize their vision.”

Melfi received Academy Award nominations for best picture for producing “Hidden Figures” and for adapted screenplay with Allison Schroeder. He also directed the historical drama for Fox.

“It’s not often a kid’s novel can so elegantly deal with the weighty topics of life and death, getting old, falling in love, and moving on, yet somehow, ‘The Fourteenth Goldfish’ does all that and more,” Melfi and Quinn said. “From the very first read, Kim and I felt this was a special project, a chance to explore humanity’s thickest themes through the eyes of a 12-year-old girl.”

Holm is the recipient of three Newbery honors for her novels “Our Only May Amelia,” “Penny From Heaven,” and “Turtle in Paradise.” Her novel “Full of Beans” won the 2017 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction and was on New York Public Library’s best books for kids list.

Skydance, best known as the producer of the “Star Trek” and “Mission: Impossible” movies, has a first-look deal with Paramount. It launched its animation division last year and formed a multi-year partnership with Madrid-based Ilion Animation Studios. Its animated feature films in development include “Luck,” “Split,” and “Powerless.”

Melfi, Quinn, Carloni, and Maldonado are all repped by UTA.

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