What's the story with ''Lemony Snicket''? - With problems early on, the much-anticipated movie will hit theaters in December

By Daniel Fierman
April 23, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

Is it any shock that Daniel Handler’s Lemony Snicket books, ”A Series of Unfortunate Events,” went through exactly that in getting to the screen? But after an arduous development process and a director swap (City of Angels’ Brad Silberling replaced Barry Sonnenfeld), the Paramount/DreamWorks coproduction has hit a lucky streak. Based on the first three books in Handler’s set of novellas about a trio of orphans who dodge ill fortune — and the evil Count Olaf — at every turn, Silberling’s movie is scheduled to wrap in May and is set for a December release. ”We’re working with a lot of kids, including infants,” says Silberling, with a smile. ”Thank God that we have two ultraprofessional actors.” Of course, if your movie featured Meryl Streep (Aunt Josephine) and Jim Carrey (Olaf), you’d be counting your lucky stars too.