It's all about the recognizable IP these days, and Hollywood has set its sights on The Phantom Tollbooth to get the feature film treatment. The Phantom Tollbooth is a beloved children's classic that has been compared to Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz. The book follows a constantly bored boy who journeys to a magical land and must go on a quest to unite a divided kingdom. It's extremely imaginative and quirky, and TriStar has found the director who will bring the pages to life on the big screen: Matt Shakman.
According to Deadline, Matt Shakman has been hired by TriStar to direct the live-action/hybrid adaptation of The Phantom Tollbooth. Shakman might be an unfamiliar name to most, but he is an experienced director who has primarily worked in television. He has a wide variety of projects under his belt, having directed episodes of Fargo, You're The Worst, Revenge, and The Good Wife. He spent five years as an executive producer on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, in addition to directing 44 episodes of the series. He recently directed two episodes of Game of Thrones last season, "East Watch" and "The Spoils of War." The Phantom Tollbooth will be his first feature-length film.
Matt Shakman reportedly had several offers from other projects but ultimately decided to go with The Phantom Tollbooth. The script is by Michael Vukadinovich (Rememory, Runaways). The current draft is a rewrite from Phil Johnston, who wrote and directed the upcoming Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2, which maybe provides a clue at the type of imagination hopefully in display in The Phantom Tollbooth.
Written in 1961 by Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth is a beloved children's book that has become a staple of the children's section at the library. The book tells the story of Milo, a bored boy who can find no enjoyment out of anything in his life. One day, he receives a mysterious tollbooth and, assuming it to be a toy, drives through it in his toy car. Milo is transported to the Kingdom of Wisdom, a magical land of strange creatures and concepts. Befriending a giant dog with two clocks on its sides (a watchdog) and a tall bug in a suit, Milo ventures across the kingdom to find two princesses, Rhyme and Reason, so that they may restore order. The film version will blend live-action with digital effects in order to recreate the more fantastical setting and characters.
There is no release date announced for The Phantom Tollbooth, but stick with CinemaBlend and we'll keep you updated with new information as soon as it becomes available. However, there's plenty of other great movies arriving in theaters soon, so head on over to our 2018 movie release guide to plan all your theater visits.
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Matt has lived in New Jersey his entire life, but commutes every day to New York City. He graduated from Rowan University and loves Marvel, Nintendo, and going on long hikes and then greatly wishing he was back indoors. Matt has been covering the entertainment industry for over two years and will fight to his dying breath that Hulk and Black Widow make a good couple.