A Brooklyn-ite with a gaggle of pet penguins? Is this the next phase of hipsterdom? Hardly. Noah Baumbach and Ben Stiller are in talks to join 20th Century Fox’s film adaption of Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale, Margot at the Wedding, and most recently Greenberg, which stars Stiller) has never directed a children’s film, but co-wrote Wes Anderson’s 2009 adaptation of Fantastic Mr. Fox. (This gives him the edge he needs to be trusted with such a beloved and widely read children’s book.) I’m assuming Stiller would play Mr. Popper, but will his penguins be live? Or will this adaptation incorporate some CGI penguins or stop-motion animation? If anything, it’s safe to say that this will be highly anticipated. And as Happy Feet and March of the Penguins have proven: moviegoers love penguins.
Speaking of beloved children’s books, what about recreating one of my childhood favorites, Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola? For those of you who may not have read the classic, it’s the story of a magical old woman who has the power to rid her fellow villagers of their problems through the help of her magical pasta pot. Couldn’t you see Meryl Streep with long, white-blonde hair, magically solving all of the world’s problems, with the same zest for food she displayed in Julie & Julia? Plus, it’s a chance to film in Italy!
Do you want to see Mr. Popper’s Penguins come to life on the big screen? What are your thoughts on a possible Noah Baumbach recreation? Have a favorite children’s book you wish would be adapted to film?