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Matt Shakman is set to direct TriStar’s live-action/hybrid adaptation of the Norton Juster classic children’s book The Phantom Tollbooth, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Phil Johnston penned the latest draft of the script, which was originally written by Michael Vukadinovich. Donald De Line and Ed McDonnell are producing the pic, with TriStar head Hannah Minghella and Nicole Brown overseeing.
First published in 1961 with illustrations by Jules Pfeiffer, The Phantom Tollbooth centers on Milo, an apathetic child who is bored by everything. When a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room, he drives through it and discovers the magical Lands Beyond — which is full of intriguing places and dynamic characters, like kidnapped princesses and Rhyme and Reason, and Tock, an oversized watchdog with a clock in his side — and learns that life is much more exciting than he had thought it to be. The beloved book has sold nearly four million copies since it was published.
Shakman previously directed episodes of TV’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (of which he was also an executive producer for five years), Game of Thrones, The Good Wife, You’re the Worst and Fargo, among other series. He also helmed the 2014 feature Cut Bank, starring Billy Bob Thornton, Bruce Dern and John Malkovich. Shakman is also the artistic director of the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. He is repped by UTA and Principato-Young Entertainment.
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