Walden acquires 'Housebroken'

'Made of Honor's' Adam Sztykiel to pen script

Days before the release of its summer tentpole "Journey to the Center of the Earth," Walden Media has acquired a new family-oriented tale.

The project, titled "Housebroken," takes a comedic look at a group of talking animals forced to live under the same roof when the two halves of the couple that owns them moves in together. It's based on a pitch from "Made of Honor" scribe Adam Sztykiel, who will write the screenplay.

"Housebroken" will combine CG and live action in the manner of such Walden films as "Charlotte's Web" and the "Chronicles of Narnia" series. The movie likely would be released by Fox under the studio's deal with Walden.

Walden co-CEO Michael Bostick and senior vp development and production Amanda Morgan Palmer brought "Housebroken" in to the banner. Mike DeLuca will produce, with Aaron Kaplan and Sean Perrone, who conceived the story, executive producing. Sztykiel, repped by UTA and attorney Jeff Frankel, also is attached to write "Nerd Camp" for Paramount.

"Housebroken" is part of a ramping up of development under Bostick, the Imaging and Shady Acres veteran who joined in the spring and has made his mark by bringing in such projects as Ross Venokur's family comedy "Inner Child" and the action-adventure "The Cruelest Miles."

Bostick is seeking to expand the family-film definition to include adult protagonists and appeal.

"This is perfectly representative of the new direction for Walden in its broader definition of what a family film can mean," he said of "Housebroken." "It's a great conceptual comedy with relatable family issues for adults and talking animals for kids."

Walden's "Journey" opens wide Friday in digital 3-D. In April, the company released the fantasy saga "Nim's Island," which has earned $79 million worldwide.

"Housebroken" marks a return of sorts for Bostick to territory he visited as a producer with last summer's Universal tentpole "Evan Almighty," which also included a bevy of CG animals in the context of a family comedy.
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