Director bulks up Fox's 'Wimpy Kid'

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Thor Freudenthal is coming aboard to direct "Diary of a Wimpy Kid," the story of a junior high wiseguy that Nina Jacobson is producing for Fox 2000.

"Wimpy" is a live-action story based on Jeff Kinney's illustrated tales about the life of pre-adolescent Greg Heffley, a smart aleck who frequently gets caught up in escapades at school and with his family.

Kinney's characters began life in a Web comic before migrating to print tomes; a new "Wimpy" book is due out in January.

The Gersh-repped Freudenthal has been a sought-after helmer for movies aimed at younger audiences. He directed "Hotel for Dogs," Paramount's Emma Roberts-toplined canine comedy, and has signed on to direct Warner Bros.' young-adult fantasy "Measle and the Wrathmonk."

Jacobson will produce "Wimpy" via her Color Force banner; the former Touchstone exec has set up several projects since leaving Disney, including "Wimpy" and "Wednesday" at Universal. (partialdiff)
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