Disney Picks Up Canine Best-Seller 'Art of Racing in the Rain' (Exclusive)

Art of Racing in the Rain Cover - P 2016
Courtesy of Harper Collins

Art of Racing in the Rain Cover - P 2016

'Fast & Furious' mainstay Neal Moritz is attached to produce.

The film adaptation of The Art of Racing in the Rain is gearing up again.

The project, an adaptation of the best-selling novel by Garth Stein, was just picked up by Walt Disney Studios after being put into turnaround by Universal.

Neal Moritz is attached to produce. Mark Bomback wrote the script and the studio work with him on a new draft.

The book centers on a family dog named Enzo who evaluates his life through the lessons learned by his human owner, a professional race-car driver named Denny Swift. The book was an international best-seller when it was published in 2008 by Harper.

Universal picked up the 2008 book in 2009, when it was to have been a starring vehicle for Patrick Dempsey, then riding high on Grey’s Anatomy. But development took its time — Michael Rich wrote a draft of the script, then Mark Bomback was hired — and Dempsey eventually stepped aside, even as Thomas Bezucha signed on to direct. The project eventually stalled on the development track.

The good news for Stein fans is that the material may be better suited at Disney, which has a long history of canine pics, ranging from Old Yeller to Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

Updated Jan. 25, 11:45 to reflect that Disney also picked up The Art or Racing in the Rain script by Mark Bomback.