Col adopting 'Alexander'

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"Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" is heading for the big screen.

Columbia Pictures has acquired feature film rights to Judith Viorst's best-selling children's classic for Neal Moritz to produce via his Original Film banner. Mike Bender has been hired to write the adaptation.

The book, published in 1972, humorously details the trials and tribulations of a young boy experiencing one of his worst days ever.

The book has sold more than 2 million copies and collected a slew of awards. It also kicked off a series of "Alexander" titles that Viorst wrote, including "Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday" and "Alexander, Who's Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move."

"Judith's books on Alexander have delighted several generations and truly withstood the test of time," Columbia Pictures president Matt Tolmach said. "They are contemporary classics, and Neal and Mike have some wonderful and innovative ideas about how to bring Alexander to the screen."

"This is one of my son's favorite books, and I would read it to him every day," Moritz said. "And a few months ago, out of the blue, he asked, 'When are they making this into a movie, Daddy?' And I said, Why didn't I think of that?"

Moritz, one of the town's more prolific producers, is in production on Warner Bros. Pictures' "I Am Legend" and is in post on Universal Pictures' "Evan Almighty" and Columbia Pictures' "Vantage Point," which is set for release in October. His credits include "Gridiron Gang," "Click" and "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift."

Bender worked with Moritz on the hit comedy spoof "Not Another Teen Movie." They are now working on a television spinoff for Comedy Central titled "Not Another High School Show."

Bender wrote "Bob the Musical," which is set up at the Walt Disney Co. with Mark Waters attached to direct, and also wrote the memorable MTV Movie Awards sketch "Mission: Improbable," which featured Tom Cruise and Ben Stiller.

Bender is repped by Endeavor, Benderspink and attorney Rick Genow.
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