Ted Melfi in Talks to Direct Sci-Fi Adventure 'Harry's All Night Hamburgers' (Exclusive)

The 'Hidden Figures' filmmaker is in final negotiations to helm the parallel-universes adventure for Warner Bros.
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Ted Melfi

Ted Melfi, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker behind the historical period drama Hidden Figures, is going sci-fi.

Melfi is in final negotiations to direct Harry’s All Night Hamburgers, a time-travel adventure set up at Warner Bros.

Andrew Lazar, whose credits include American Sniper, will produce via his Mad Chance production banner. Ben Simpson is co-producing.

Picked up as a spec by Steve Desmond and Michael Sherman, Hamburgers centers on a down-on-his-luck high school senior who discovers that the roadside diner where he works nights is actually the hangout of a parallel universe of travelers. Ignoring the advice of the diner's irascible owner Harry, he sets off on an adventure through the multiverse in search of his own perfect life, only to learn that happiness doesn't come as easy as pressing a button.

The script has been described as being reminiscent of Back to the Future and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. 

The story is based on the 1987 Hugo Award-winning short story Why I Left Harry’s All-Night Hamburgers by Lawrence Watt-Evans.

Cate Adams and Paul Perez are shepherding for the studio.

Melfi received best picture and best adapted screenplay Oscar nominations for Hidden Figures, the 2016 hit that tackled civil and women’s rights during the Space Race heyday. He will likely helm the looney-bin dramedy Fruit Loops for Fox 2000 before Hamburger. He is also writing Huck, based on the Mark Millar comic, for Netflix.

Melfi, who recently did a polish on Tri-Star’s adaptation of The Phantom Tollbooth, is repped by UTA and Gang Tyre.