Coming on top in a bidding war, Skydance Media has picked up the rights to children’s book The Fourteenth Goldfish with the goal of adapting it as a big-screen animated feature.
Ted Melfi, the Oscar-nominated writer-director behind Hidden Figures and St. Vincent, and his wife, actress Kimberly Quinn, are on board to write the adaptation as well as produce.
Victor Maldonado and Alfredo Torres, who worked on the Spanish animated movie Nocturna as well asTrollhunters: Tales of Arcadia via their Headless Productions, are attached to direct.
Goldfish, centers on a 12-year-old girl whose confusing middle school life gets more complicated when her estranged grandfather, a scientist-inventor, shows up…as a 14-year old boy. The two team up to stop the grandfather’s technology from falling into the wrong hands. The book was written by Newbery Award winner Jennifer L. Holm, known for her novels Our Only May Amelia, Penny From Heaven and Turtle In Paradise.
“It’s not often a kid’s novel can so elegantly deal with the weighty topics of life and death, getting old, falling in love and moving on, yet somehow, The Fourteenth Goldfish does all that and more. From the very first read, Kim and I felt this was a special project, a chance to explore humanity’s thickest themes through the eyes of a 12-year-old girl,” said Melfi and Quinn in a statement.
Stated Skydance president of animation and family entertainment, Bill Damaschke: “We fell in love with The Fourteenth Goldfish immediately and were passionate about telling this story featuring characters of all ages and the unique comedic circumstances that connects a young girl with her grandfather at an important time in both their lives.”
Alessandro Carloni, who acted as head of story on How to Train Your Dragon and its sequel, will executive produce.
Goldfish bolsters the development slate of Skydance’s animation and family division, which it launched last year. Among the projects in the works is Luck, to be directed by Carloni and written by Kung Fu Panda scribes Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger.
Melfi, Quinn, Carloni, Maldonado and Torres are all repped by UTA.