He’s been up in the air and hung out with young adults, but Jason Reitman never has gotten animated — until now. The Oscar-nominated filmmaker is writing and directing an adaptation of the book The Adventures Of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend for DreamWorks Animation.
This is also the first project to be put into development by DWA’s recently appointed Co-Presidents of Feature Animation Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria following the restructuring and resulting layoffs earlier this year.
Beekle is the story of an imaginary friend who is so odd and so unique that no kid could possibly imagine him. So he decides to take matters into his own hands, and sets off on an unimaginable journey to the land of people in search of a best friend.
DWA development exec Damon Ross brought the project to the studio, which he, along with the studio’s Head of Development Gregg Taylor are overseeing.
“Welcoming Jason onto this project is a true coup, as his incredible ability to tell heartfelt character-driven stories with a signature comedic tone makes him the perfect choice to bring this beloved book to the big screen,” said Arnold and Soria in a joint statement. “We immediately fell in love with the concept of ‘Beekle’ and know that Jason will create something truly special from this fantastic source material.”
Reitman’s impressive directing resume includes the Oscar-nominated Juno, Thank You For Smoking, Young Adult, Labor Day, Men, Women & Children, and the Oscar-nommed Up In The Air, for which Reitman earned a Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay.
Written and illustrated by Dan Santat, The Adventures Of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, is the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Caldecott Medal, awarded annually to the most distinguished American picture book for children.
“I was book shopping with my daughter, when a little tooth-shaped character in a paper crown stole our hearts,” Reitman added. “His name was Beekle and I’m honored to now be adapting Santat’s charming story into a feature film.”
Reitman is repped by WME.