Three disparate movies (and one kids' TV show) all had production developments this week, ranging from simple acquisition to the changing of a distribution plan. Obviously, whether you’re here for horror, body-swap comedy, or real-life space travel, we’ve got what you need to know about them.
First up, according to Variety, Paul Feig, best known for his R-rated female-fronted comedies and his reboot of Ghostbusters, is taking his irreverent spirit to a children’s book whose title almost includes his name (and is about body-swapping with a dog). Feig is attached to direct Chris Van Allsburg’s The Sweetest Fig for Fox. Van Allsburg has an overall deal with Fox, which acquired his story about a greedy, mean dentist who learns life lessons when he gets swapped into the body of his dog after eating a magic fig.
Monsieur Bibot and his dog Marcel (who’ll likely be Americanized because, c’mon, of course they will be) eat the fruit that will fulfill their dreams — only the dog’s dream is to not be the dog of a terrible owner. With that kind of silliness afoot (with plenty of opportunity for heavy emotional growth), Feig seems like a good fit.
Another, ironically more grounded film on its way is Discovery Channel’s documentary Above and Beyond: NASA’s Journey to Tomorrow. As per Deadline, the film will briefly hit theaters before it shows up on the network and the Science Channel on October 13.
The spotlight-shining doc focuses on NASA’s accomplishments big and small — whether it means travelling to new worlds or protecting our own. Fathom Events will be launching the event on Sept. 29 and Oct. 3, which will feature a special introduction from director-producer-narrator Rory Kennedy.
“It is thrilling for me to have audiences see this film on the big screen, to showcase the images that NASA has captured over the last 60 years,” said Kennedy. “My Uncle, President [John F.] Kennedy, had the foresight to see the importance of NASA and their work. Over the years, the agency has changed not only our vision of the universe, but of our planet, and ourselves.” After these events, the doc will have a limited run in New York and L.A. beginning on Oct. 5.
In other out-of-this-world news, Disney Channel is giving the E.T. babysitter comedy Gabby Duran & The Unsittables a straight-to-series order, the network announced Friday. Based on the novel by Elise Allen and Daryle Conners, starring Kylie Cantrall, the series will air its alien-sitting live-action antics in 2019.
Finally, Deadline reports that Paramount outbid its competitors for Meet Jimmy, a short horror film from Dutch filmmakers David-Jan Bronsgeest and Tim Koomen. The duo will adapt their own short into a horror film for the studio, hopefully turning the evil podcast-based spookiness into a hit of the same caliber as A Quiet Place.
Deadline’s sources compare Meet Jimmy to The Ring and A Nightmare on Elm Street, only with modern technology a la Unfriended and its sequel. Paramount is eyeing the property as a potential franchise, the first of which will be directed by Bronsgeest and written by Shawn & Michael Rasmussen alongside Koomen.