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Actor-turned-filmmaker Tom McCarthy had one of the greatest directorial debuts of the modern age with 2003’s solid comedic drama The Station Agent, and though he only has two other films under his belt since (with one on the way), he’s a storyteller whose work is impossible to get enough of. His next project looks like it will take all the heart and emotion of his earlier works and will scale it up a bit by adding a huge dinosaur. McCarthy has signed on to write Universal’s long-gestating big screen adaptation of Tommysaurus Rex, the 2004 graphic novel from Earthworm Jim creator Doug TenNapel.
McCarthy is crafting this story with John Bland while also considering taking over directorial duties, which would make this movie about as credible as it could get. Published by Image Comics, Tommysaurus Rex follows Ely, a young boy who goes to his grandfather’s house for the summer to get his mind off of the traffic-involved death of his cherished dog Tommy. Out exploring a cave, Ely’s mind is blown when he finds a fully-grown Tyrannosaurus Rex, which just so happens to have the same loving personality as his dog. People find out about his new pet, and it’s up to Ely to prove that this isn’t just some murderous beast - but the neighborhood jerk, Randy, takes it upon himself to make Ely’s life hell.
Is it too early to start calling this "The Next Iron Giant?" Because I feel like I may want to throw that description around once this flick gets closer to release. Check out the full cover below.
According to THR, this will be a co-production between Gotham Group and Disruption Entertainment, whose Mary Parent is the one who optioned the graphic novel back when she was president of production at Universal (where the project went into turnaround). Parent swooped in and re-acquired it, which is where we are now. Universal was unsuccessful in bringing any directors to the project, though they went after both David O. Russell and Tom Shadyac.
That’s all fine by me, as McCarthy is a fine choice. He followed The Station Agent up in 2007 with the wonderfully subdued and heartwarming The Visitor and that with the underseen wrestling comedy Win Win in 2011, starring Paul Giamatti. His next directorial feature will be the fantastical comedy drama The Cobbler with Adam Sandler and Steve Buscemi. But we’ll soon see his latest screenwriting effort even sooner, with Craig Gillespie’s cricket drama Million Dollar Arm coming out soon. You can watch the trailer for the movie below.