Zachary Levi to Star in Sony's Live-Action 'Harold and the Purple Crayon' (Exclusive)

Zacahary Levi Harold and the Purple Crayon
Rich Polk/Getty Images; Courtesy of HarperCollins
David Guion and Michael Handelman, whose credits include 'Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb' and 'Dinner for Schmucks', are writing the screenplay.

Zachary Levi is attached to star in Sony Pictures’ live-action adaptation of children’s classic, Harold and the Purple Crayon.

David Guion and Michael Handelman, whose credits include Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and Dinner for Schmuck, are writing the screenplay for the project, which is in development.

John Davis, the  veteran producer who last worked on Dolemite Is My Name and has Disney’s Jungle Cruise next, is producing through Davis Entertainment.

Published in 1955, Harold was written by Crockett Johnson and told  the story of a four-year-old who, with the power of his crayon, created worlds around him. The book was a smash and was followed by six more.

Hollywood has long-sought to adapt it to the big-screen but development hell has snuffed many a project. Spike Jonze infamously tried to mountain iteration and at one points both Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment and Will Smith’s Overbrook tried to adapt the book. Previously Sony’s Sony Pictures Animation was working on a CG animated version.

For Guion and Handel, the project puts the duo in the same realm  as Slumberland, the fantasy they wrote for director Francis Lawrence and star Jason Momoa. That Netflix project is based on one of the earliest of comic strips, Little Nemo in Slumberland, focusing on the fantastical dreams of young boy.

Davis’ Dolemite won best comedy at this past year Critics’ Choice Awards and was nominated for a Golden Globe in the best picture, musical or comedy category.

Levi starred in the hit Shazam! and  is due to reprise the character for the sequel. He will be seen starring in the Richard Linklater’s Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Adventure, as well Jon Gunn’s Unbreakable Boy. He is next prepping to shoot American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story in which he will  portray NFL football legend Kurt Warner in Lionsgate’s inspirational sports drama.

Levi is repped by UTA, Untitled, and McKuin Frankel Guion & Handelman are repped by UTA and attorney George Sheanshang.