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Tom McCarthy Writing 'Tommysaurus Rex' for Universal (Exclusive)

Tommysauraus Rex Graphic Novel - P 2014

Tom McCarthy, the filmmaker known for his indies such as The Visitor and The Station Agent, is going big for his next movie.

How big? Dinosaur big.

McCarthy is writing with an eye to direct Tommysauraus Rex, Universal's long-in-the-works adaptation of the Doug TenNapel graphic novel. McCarthy will co-write the script with John Bland.

Mary Parent and Cale Boyter are producing via their Disruption Entertainment banner. Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Lee Stollman of the Gotham Group are also producing.

Rex, published by Image Comics in 2004, tells of a boy who, after losing is pet dog, moves in with his grandfather for the summer. Bullies just compound his already miserable existence. When he discovers a T. rex in a cave, the boy’s life changes, as he must prove to the townspeople that this new pet isn't the harmful beast they think it is.

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Universal initially picked up the rights in 2004 for a reported $1 million, developing several drafts. David O. Russell even had an offer to write and direct the project. Tom Shadyac was at one point attached to direct.

It then ended up in turnaround, where Parent -- who initially bought the project when she was co-president of production at Universal -- picked it up, only for it to get reset at the studio.

Executive producing the project are Rich Marchewka, Gotham Group's Peter Mchugh and TenNapel.

McCarthy in December wrapped shooting on his latest film, The Cobbler, which also has his most high-profile cast to date: Adam Sandler, Dustin Hoffman, Steve Buscemi and Dan Stevens.

He is repped by Gersh.