Jason Reitman is to write and direct Beekle, a film version of the award-winning children's book, The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, DreamWorks Animation announced.
Beekle is the first project to be put into development by DreamWorks Animation's recently appointed Co-Presidents of Feature Animation Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria. It is the first foray into animation for Reitman, the celebrated director of the films Juno, Thank You For Smoking, Young Adult, Labor Day, Men, Women & Children, and Up in the Air.
Written and illustrated by Dan Santat, The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend is the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Caldecott Medal.
"Welcoming Jason onto this project is a true coup, as his incredible ability to tell heartfelt character-driven stories with a signature comedic tone makes him the perfect choice to bring this beloved book to the big screen," Arnold and Soria said in a joint statement. "We immediately fell in love with the concept of Beekle and know that Jason will create something truly special from this fantastic source material."
"I was book-shopping with my daughter, when a little tooth-shaped character in a paper crown stole our hearts," Reitman added. "His name was Beekle and I'm honored to now be adapting Santat's charming story into a feature film. I'm particularly proud to be working with DreamWorks Animation, makers of Kung Fu Panda, the first film my daughter ever saw on the big screen."
"Beekle is the story of an imaginary friend who is so odd and so unique that no kid could possibly imagine him," a synopsis said. "So, he decides to take matters into his own hands, and sets off on an unimaginable journey to the land of people in search of a best friend."