Paul Fleischman's 2009 picture book The Dunderheads (wonderfully illustrated by David Roberts) is apparently being brought to the big screen by Paramount Pictures. The book got quite a bit of award season buzz last year. Over at the SLJ's Heavy Medal blog Jonathan Hunt made a strong case for the book. Read his analysis here and here. His co-blogger Nina Lindsay chimed in on the book here.
While the Newbery committee didn't see to listen, someone in Hollywood did. Thanks to a leaked internal Paramount email acquired by thewrap.com we can start to speculate on what a big screen adaptation of The Dunderheads might look like. The leaked email lists 33 different film projects under consideration or early stages of preproduction. You can see the whole article and a picture of the email here.
The Dunderheads film is categorized as "Priorities/On Deck". Here's what the email has to say:
DUNDERHEADS: This is a $15m movie they're making w/Montecito later this year. Lana Williams wrote it -its a heist movie w/middle-schoolers (Oveans 11 year old"). They will likely put a commercials/video director on this.
A quick imdb search comes up blank for Lana Williams the screenwriter, so either Lana Williams the stunt safety supervisor is writing the script or Williams is a previously unproduced screenwriter.
The email mentions Montecito Pictures as the production company. They have previously released films such as: Up in the Air, The Uninvited, I Love You Man, Hotel for Dogs, Eurotrip, and Disturbia.
Can't wait to see who might be cast in the various roles. There's really only one adult role in the book but hopefully they'll get a great actress for the teacher role. Who do you think would make a good Miss Breakbone? Paramount is a Viacom company, whic also owns Nickelodeon. I am hoping synergy won't be at work here. I would hate to see any/all the kid roles assigned to Nickelodeon's TV series actors.
Exciting news. You should probably run out and get your copy of The Dunderheads now if you don't already have one, because pretty soon they'll release it with an ugly movie tie in cover.