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Producer Neal Moritz Planning 'Sleeping Beauty' Comedy; 'Pixels' & 'Ouija' Get Writers

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by Joe Cunningham
July 17, 2012 6:27 PM
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Revamps of classic fairy tales are like so hot right now, and with Disney hard at work prepping a new twist on the Sleeping Beauty story with the Angelina Jolie-starrer “Maleficent” it should come as no surprise that a rival project has reared its head. Producer Neal Moritz is busy prepping a comedy take on Sleeping Beauty which will presumably be to "Maleficent" what Tarsem’s “Mirror Mirror” was to “Snow White and the Huntsman.” Moritz’s work is usually confined to the action genre, although he does occasionally work on comedies and has most recently overseen “The Bounty Hunter,” “The Change-Up” and “21 Jump Street.” That last credit is probably one that will pique interest, but...yeah, this is still a pretty terrible idea. [THR]

Patrick Jean’s “Pixels” was one of the most talked about animated shorts of recent years, and one man who was particularly taken by it was Adam Sandler, who picked up the rights for a remake through Happy Madison back in 2010. Regular Sandler collaborator Tim Herlihy was originally hired to pen the first draft of the script, but he’s now been replaced by Timothy Dowling who wrote the Sandler vehicle “Just Go With It.” Variety reports that Happy Madison wants the film to be a tentpole-sized action-comedy in the vein of “Ghostbusters,” and that Dowling’s job will be to turn a script, which is already “in line with Happy Madison’s unique brand of humor,” into something a bit bigger and broader in scope. And to help that along, "The King of Kong" and "The Change-Up" helmer Seth Gordon has been brought on to executive produce the project. Dowling has most recently worked on the script for McG’s “This Means War” and Universal’s “Midnight Run” sequel. "Pixels" is currently slated for a May 17, 2013 release date, but that seems optimistic at this point.

Universal’s Hasbro adaptation “Ouija” seems to have been knocking around for a while now in various different guises. It was being prepped at Universal, and then at Paramount, and then at Universal again. Pierre Morel was attached and then he wasn’t. McG was attached and then he wasn’t. The budget was $100 million and then was stripped way back to $5 million. The latest change sees Stiles White and Juliet Snowdon on board to rewrite and helm the picture. Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz penned the original draft, and Marti Noxon had worked on the script when it was still seen as a bigger budget project, but now White and Snowdon (“Knowing,” “The Possession”) look like the pair who will finally bring it to the big screen in 2013. Jason Blum (“Paranormal Activity”) is producing through his Blumhouse Prods alongside Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes, so that should give you some idea of what to expect.

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More: Neal H. Moritz, Pixels, Seth Gordon, Ouija

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