Jason Reitman to Direct 'Beekle' for DreamWorks Animation

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Jason Reitman

The filmmaker will write and direct the adaptation of Dan Santat's award-winning children's book.

Taking his first plunge into animation, Jason Reitman will write and direct Beekle, an adaptation of the children’s book The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend for DreamWorks Animation, the studio announced Wednesday.

Written and illustrated by Dan Santat, The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Caldecott Medal, tells the story of an imaginary creature searching for a child to befriend him.

Beekle is the first project to be put into development by DreamWorks Animation's new co-presidents of feature animation Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria. DreamWorks Animation development executive Damon Ross, who brought the project to the studio, will oversee along with the studio's head of development Gregg Taylor.

"Welcoming Jason onto this project is a true coup, as his incredible ability to tell heartfelt character-driven stories with a signature comedic tone makes him the perfect choice to bring this beloved book to the big screen," Arnold and Soria said in a joint statement.

"I was book shopping with my daughter, when a little tooth-shaped character in a paper crown stole our hearts," Reitman, who’s repped by WME, commented. "His name was Beekle, and I'm honored to now be adapting Santat's charming story into a feature film. I'm particularly proud to be working with DreamWorks Animation, makers of Kung Fu Panda, the first film my daughter ever saw on the big screen."