Cedar Rapids and Youth in Revolt director Miguel Arteta has officially begun production on his live-action adaptation of the beloved children’s novel Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day in Los Angeles, and to mark the event the full cast he has recruited for this 2014 release has been announced.
As we previously reported, relative newcomer Ed Oxenbould – a 12-year-old Australian native who’s primarily known for the television program Puberty Blues -- will be playing Alexander. His parents will be played by Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner. Their children, Alexander’s siblings, will be played by 16-year-old Dylan Minnette (Lost, the upcoming Prisoners) as Alexander’s older brother Anthony, and 15-year-old Kerris Dorsey (Moneyball) as the titular character's sister Emily.
The official synopsis has also been revealed by the studio, reads as such:
Disney’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day follows the exploits of 11-year-old Alexander as he experiences the most terrible and horrible day of his young life -- a day that begins with gum stuck in his hair, followed by one calamity after another. But when Alexander tells his upbeat family about the misadventures of his disastrous day, he finds little sympathy and begins to wonder if bad things only happen to him. He soon learns that he’s not alone when his brother, sister, mom and dad all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Anyone who says there is no such thing as a bad day just hasn't had one.
On the surface, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day sounds like it is going after the Wimpy Kid audience - which is fine. Those movies are solid adaptations of a winning kid-lit series, and when those kinds of movies are done properly they can lead to entertaining movies that the whole family can enjoy.
When done horribly, we get Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer. Egad.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day will have a great support cast to back up Carell and Garner as well. They will be joined by Megan Mullally (Will & Grace), Jennifer Coolidge (the American Pie movies) and Disney Channel sensation Bella Thorne (Shake It Up!). Carell’s Date Night director Shawn Levy will produce, while newcomer Rob Lieber is handling screenwriting duties.
Judith Viorst and Ray Cruz’s book was published back in 1972, winning multiple awards while publishing more than 2 million copies over the years. Viorst wrote two sequels, which could end up being used as source material for additional movies: Alexander, Who Used to be Rich Last Sunday (1978) and Alexander, Who's Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move (1995).
This actually won't be the first adaptation of the children's book either. In 1990, it was produced as an animated short film for HBO, and in 1998 it was made into a stage musical at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. You can watch the HBO show below, and the new movie will be in theaters on October 10, 2014.