The Bad Guys
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The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey

Development Roundup: DreamWorks animating The Bad Guys; Nicholas Verso serving up The Ice Cream Man horror flick

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Mar 9, 2018, 8:15 PM EST

Welcome to this somewhat schizophrenic edition of our Development Roundup, where we’ve got news of an animated children’s film AND an indie horror film that’s decidedly for adults. So, let’s go with the kid’s film first, then ease into the scary.

The first news comes from Variety, which is reporting that DreamWorks Animation has acquired the rights to adapt Aaron Blabey’s illustrated chapter book series The Bad Guys in to an animated feature film. The story revolves around four “bad guys” — Mr. Wolf, Mr. Shark, Mr. Snake, and Mr. Piranha — who, as this hilarious and adorable trailer for the books points out, “look bad…sound bad…even smell bad. But guess what? They don’t want to be bad guys. They want to be good!”

Screenwriter Etan Cohen (Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Holmes and Watson) has been tapped to adapt the best-selling Scholastic series, with Blabey, Patrick Hughes of Foundation Management, Jeff Berg of Northside Services, and Damon Ross from DreamWorks to serve as executive producers.

Cohen’s publicist could not be immediately reached for further comment by press time.

For fans of quirky indie horror films, we’ve also got some good news for you. Covert Media and Broken Road Productions have announced that Nicholas Verso (Boys in the Trees, The Last Time I Saw Richard) has signed on to direct the high-concept horror feature The Ice Cream Man.

Written by Justin Powell and David Charbonier, the “elevated chiller” (Covert Media’s words) follows two brothers who are terrorized by a sinister being. Are we to assume that this sinister being may sell some sort of cold and sweet refreshment when not terrorizing…?

“Nick is a true visionary when it comes to crafting genre films, handsomely evidenced by the awards and acclaim received in recent years,” said Paul Hanson, CEO of Covert Media, in a news release announcing the project. “He is a proven, unique voice and we are thrilled that Justin and David’s outstanding, clever, and terrifying script is in a master’s hands.”

Hanson will produce along with Broken Road’s Todd Garner and Ryan Lewis, with Covert’s Elissa Friedman, Media Content Capital’s Sasha Shapiro and Anton Lessine, and Broken Road’s Sean Robins serving as executive producers.

“When we’re done with this film, parents will think twice before letting their kids chase after that familiar jingle when Summer comes around again,” Lewis added in the release. So, we were right about the sinister being’s side job!

The Ice Cream Man is currently in pre-production and being fully financed by Covert Media.