Getty Images / Random House
TriStar Pictures has found a director for its adaptation of Norton Juster’s children’s book The Phantom Tollbooth, and they’ve chosen Matt Shakman, who directed episodes of Game of Thrones and was an EP on FX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Juster’s 1961 book, illustrated by cartoonist Jules Pfeiffer, tells the story of the always-bored Milo whose life suddenly gets more exciting when a tollbooth appears in his room. When he drives through it in his toy car, he ends up in the fantastical Lands Beyond where he comes between two warring kingdoms, one based around words, the other around numbers.
The film will be a hybrid/live-action movie where some of the more exotic creatures will be created using CG, including the watchdog Tock, who is best known from the book cover. The biggest challenge of the film might be to find a proper Milo — whether it’s a new face or Wonder‘s Jacob Tremblay — then cast bigger names in some of the other live action roles.
The Phantom Tollbooth is written by Michael Vukadinovich with rewrites by Phil Johnston (Wreck It Ralph 2) with Donald De Line and Ed McDonnell producing. Hannah Minghella and Nicole Brown are overseeing the film for TriStar, having picked it up from Warner Bros, who held the option for many years and may get involved in a co-production.
Repped by UTA, Principato-Young and Todd Rubinstein, Shakman also directed the indie crime thriller Cut Bank, starring Liam Hemsworth and Teresa Palmer, which premiered at the L.A. and Toronto Film Festivals in 2014. He’s also the Artistic Director of the Geffen Playhouse.
The Tracking Board has confirmed Shakman’s attachment, which was initially reported by Deadline.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor