EXCLUSIVE: Robert De Niro is in final negotiations to star in The War With Grandpa, a comedy that is being financed and produced by Marro Films and distributed by Dimension. Tim Hill will direct and Matt Ember & Tom Astle, the team behind the DreamWorks Animation hit Home and MGM’s Kid Robot, are doing a rewrite on the adaptation of the Robert Kimmel Smith novel. De Niro will do the film before he re-teams with Martin Scorsese in The Irishman, with Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel, with Paramount releasing domestically and STX Entertainment landing foreign in a splashy $50 million Cannes auction. That film begins production next spring.
The War With Grandpa will be produced by Phillip Glasser, Marvin Peart and Rosa Morris-Peart, and Jane Rosenthal and Berry Welsh are the exec producers. Smith’s bestselling youth title is about a young man who loves his grandfather, but also loves his bedroom. When grandpa’s wife dies, he moves in. His bad leg means he can’t stay in the attic bedroom, so guess who gives up his beloved bedroom? The young man engages in a series of pranks meant to drive out grandpa, but the old man is pretty resourceful in returning each salvo. Lisa Addario & Joey Syracuse wrote the first draft. CAA-repped De Niro will next star in the Roberto Duran drama Hands of Stone for The Weinstein Company. Hill helmed the Illumination pic Hop as well as Alvin and the Chipmunks and is repped by Verve and Principato-Young.