Tom McCarthy, who directed the Oscar-winning drama Spotlight, is in negotiations to co-write and direct Timmy Failure, Walt Disney Studios’ live-action adaptation of the children’s book by Stephan Pastis.

Jim Whitaker, who produced Pete’s Dragon and just wrapped the adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time for the studio, is producing the adventure project.

The popular Failure book series centers on the titular hero, an 11-year old boy who believes he is the best detective in town and runs the great detective agency, Total Failure Inc., with his partner, a 1,200-pound (and imaginary) polar bear. He also has a sidekick named Rollo Tookus, who spots all the clues the hero, in Inspector Clouseau form, misses.

The books have been compared to Diary of a Wimpy Kid in tone.

McCarthy will write the script with Pastis.

Failure keeps McCarthy, who won an Oscar for co-writing Spotlight, in the Disney fold. He wrote Christopher Robin, a reimagining of Winnie the Pooh that Marc Forster is on board to direct, and penned the 2014 Jon Hamm sports drama Million Dollar Arm. He was also a writer on Pixar’s Up.

McCarthy, repped by Gersh, last directed two episodes of Netflix’s acclaimed teen drama 13 Reasons Why.

Pastis is repped by UTA and the Writer's House.