〉The outrageous and heartfelt novel by Matthew Ward is set for the big screen.
21 Laps Entertainment and 20th Century Fox are teaming to adapt Matthew Ward’s debut novel THE FANTASTIC FAMILY WHIPPLE. Published by Razorbill in 2014, the children’s novel has received praise for balancing absurd humor with a relatable heartfelt message. Shawn Levy and Will Rack will produce through their shingle 21 Laps, which has a first look deal at Fox.
The coming-of-age family comedy follows twelve-year-old Arthur Whipple, who has grown up in a family that have always been the greatest at everything, priding themselves on breaking world records, no matter how obscure. The most Crème Brulée eaten in one minute, the highest number of matching outfits worn by a stuffed toy and its owner and the youngest person to summit the third-highest mountain in the world are among the family’s achievements. Arthur however, has never been able to break a single record, leading to loneliness and poor self confidence. However, when a rival record-breaking family named the Goldwins move into town, the Whipple’s seek to defend their territory. But, after Arthur falls for their daughter Ruby, he finds himself propelled into an adventure that he never expected.
The novel went on to win an Editor’s Choice Award at the 2007 SDSU Writer’s Conference and the Lincoln City Fellowship in 2011. The series’ popularity and critical success led to a sequel entry, War of The World Records.
Levy’s 21 Laps has produced numerous successful films in the tone of the novel, many of which he himself has directed, including Night at the Museum, the Cheaper By The Dozen series, and The Internship. Levy also directed the comedy Date Night, which starred Steve Carrell and Tina Fey, Hugh Jackman’s Real Steel, The Pink Panther with Steve Martin, and ensemble dramedy This Is Where I Leave You. He is next set to produce and direct the Reel Steel sequel and a Tinker Bell project with Melissa McCarthy, as well the upcoming Sesame Street movie for Warner Bros later down the line.
Lou Chase | Staff Writer