August 16, 2006

Sony puts silver into “Cloudy” feature

By Sheigh Crabtree

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Sony Pictures Animation
has acquired film rights to the classic children's book "Cloudy
with a Chance of Meatballs," which it is actively developing as
a feature film.

The project was formally announced Tuesday at SPA's
roadshow at the Sony studio in Culver City at a special
presentation to introduce SPA's execs and creative teams in
advance of the animation unit's first feature, "Open Season,"
bowing September 29.

"Cloudy" will be based on the illustrated book by Judi
Barrett and Ron Barrett which imagines a fanciful world where
it rains juice and snows mashed potatoes and spaghetti. The
movie's plot will center on a scientist who tries to solve
world hunger only to see things go awry as food falls from the
sky in abundance.

"This is a project that we put into development right after
we formed the company," said Yair Landau, president, Sony
Pictures Digital. "It's one of my favorite books. It's
something we chased right away."

When Sony first optioned the book, Paul and Gaetan Brizzi
were assigned to direct, with Wayne Rice adapting the

The project is now being directed by Phil Lord and Chris
Miller, with Miller having already spent two years handling the
screenplay adaptation. With the screenplay taking shape, the
project has been in active development for the past six months,
as the studio has been developing visuals.

The project's release date is to be determined, but,
riffing off the book's whimsey, one exec joked that it will be
released on "Septobter 32, 200F."

Penney Finkelman Cox and Sandra Rabins, exec VPs of SPA,
hosted the roadshow, which included sneak peaks of "Season."
The movie, directed by Jill Culton, Roger Allers and Anthony
Stacchi, follows the adventures of several forest animals
stranded in the woods during hunting season.

The program also featured clips from "Surf's Up," directed
by Ash Brannon and Chris Buck, which is being released June 8.
The movie is set in the penguin-populated town of Shiverpool.

The studio also touted "Hotel Translyvania," which features
a ghoulish group of characters who live in a remote lodge in
the middle of nowhere. Directing are Stacchi and David Feiss,
who both worked on "Season."

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter