Disney does a reverse E.T. with The Pet

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Producer Craig Perry's biggest hits have been the ultraviolent Final Destination horror films and the ultra-raunchy American Pie comedies. His Cats & Dogs did OK, but it didn't register as a critical or artistic hit. That's not stopping him: He's got another live-action F/X-driven family comedy in the works with Disney, called The Pet, which he hopes will help break him out of R-rated typecasting.

"Very simplest idea," Perry told SCI FI Wire in an exclusive interview last week at Comic-Con in San Diego. "On page 15, a guy is taken from Earth in an alien spacecraft, and he wakes up in a pet store and is sold to a family. You take all the tropes of how we see pets. We open up with our guy at the dog park. He winds up going to the dog park on the alien planet, and it's a bunch of humans running around doing s--t. All the pet tropes, but it's really E.T. in reverse, where he has to figure out if he's a good pet [or] he'll actually wind up being able to get back home. It's very charming."

The alien setting will also mine comedy out of the opportunities for fantastic visuals. "It's very funny," Perry continued. "It's surprisingly funny, because there's a size disparity. So you have all those great jokes about somebody who climbing up the stairs is a bitch. We're really excited about that, and the studio's really behind it."

Perry has no news on casting our human pet yet. "It's a long way away," he esaid. "It's just a lot of work to prep this thing."

Behind-the-scenes talent is secured. "We have David Silverman, who directed The Simpsons Movie and co-directed Monsters, Inc.," Perry said. "This would be his first live-action movie. It's a very big family movie with a lot of special effects. It's really fun, funny, it's got a great idea, and I'm excited to be working in a genre that is still very technically challenging but is different than the Final Destination and American Pie movies. I love them dearly, but it's also great to keep things in the mix."

Disney has yet to set a release date for The Pet.