EXCLUSIVE: Matthew Johnson, who wrote and directed the Slamdance winner The Dirties, is in talks with Warner Bros to draft Encylopedia Brown into a family film. Since it’s aimed at a young audience, his first challenge is to explain to them exactly what an encyclopedia is. You know, those heavy volumes you got with gas station fill-ups or grocery purchases that lazy kids like me used to crib information from to use as their own in research papers for school — kind of like what most of the Internet does with news generated by Deadline. Kids got to know those books so well that I can actually remember the breaks in each volume, starting with A-Apu, and Apu-Bay, and onward through Z, if one of your siblings didn’t lose volumes in between. Encyclopedia Brown is an adaptation of the venerable kiddie book series by Donald J. Sobol, which the studio optioned earlier this year for Roy Lee and Howard David Deutsch to produce. The title was a nickname for the egghead protagonist Leroy Brown, who was the son of the police chief and solved kiddie crimes out of the family garage. Johnson’s repped by WME and Management 360.
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