Ben Stiller Picks Up A Penguin

May reteam with Baumbach for Mr Popper

Ben Stiller Picks Up A Penguin

by Owen Williams |
Published on

Indie dramedy Greenberg isn't out here until the 11th of June, but according to Variety, Ben Stiller and Greenberg's director Noah Baumbach may already be planning a reunion, to adapt the seventy-year-old childrens' novel Mr Popper's Penguins.

Richard and Florence Atwater's whimsical story, a bit better known in the States than over here (it's not even in print in the UK), involves a housepainter who receives a male penguin in the post, followed by a female when he decides the first penguin might be lonely. Several hatched eggs later, Mr Popper is in danger of being overrun, until he decides to turn the huddle (that's the right collective noun - we looked it up) into the Popper's Performing Penguins circus act. It's a bit like 101 Dalmations crossed with the end of Batman Returns crossed with Barnum. A bit.

Producer John Davis picked up the rights to the novel for Fox last year, with Sean Anders and John Morris working on the screenplay. Baumbach hasn't made a kids' film before, but he did co-write Fantastic Mr Fox and The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. We're thinking a Wes Anderson sensibility would be perfect for the material. And Stiller would own the role of Mr Popper.

Officially the pair are "in talks" though, so nothing's set in stone yet. Watch this space for further developments.

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