You can blame New Line for this. Back in 2009 the studio wrestled the self-help book He's Just Not That Into You into a relationship drama. That non-fiction, non-narrative-tome-into-fictional-story trajectory subsequently gave us Alcon's What To Expect When You're Expecting (from the pregnancy manual), and that same company now has big plans for the touchy-feely Chicken Soup For The Soul franchise. Brandon Camp (Love Happens) is the lucky recipient of the screenplay gig.
The original Chicken Soup For The Soul first graced bookshelves in 1993, and was so named for its alleged warming and nourishing qualities. A collection of motivational essays and inspirational stories, it was compiled by self-help gurus Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen.
They did rather well out of it. It sold in its millions and sparked a series of juggernaut follow-ups and spin-offs, which included Chicken Soup For The Teenage Soul (multiple volumes), Chicken Soup For The Mother's Soul, Chicken Soup For The Dog-Lover's Soul, and Chicken Soup For The Prisoner's Soul, along with versions on dieting, grieving, angels, romance, coping with illness... you name it. They've been translated into 54 languages and there are more than 100m copies in print worldwide.
How's it going to translate to film? Well, given that each volume contains dozens of stories, an anthology might be the way to go. Or perhaps more likely, we'll see a large cast juggling multiple simultaneous narratives, a la New Year's Eve. Only, y'know, hopefully better.
"The Chicken Soup For The Soul brand lends itself perfectly to a fictional narrative that will inspire, entertain and intrigue," said Alcon CEOs Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove in a statement. "We're thrilled to partner with a brand that has become synonymous with inspiration and life improvement and has touched hundreds of millions of readers through the power of storytelling."
Camp directed Love Happens as well as writing it, but it's not yet clear whether he's destined for a role behind the camera on this occasion.
We don't seem to have heard much about Lionsgate's Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus lately. That's a shame.