Quartet climb live-action 'Beanstalk'


Katey Sagal, Wallace Shawn, Gilbert Gottfried and Chevy Chase are starring with Christopher Lloyd in the fairy tale feature "Jack and the Beanstalk."

James Earl Jones is in negotiations to voice the role of the Giant in Gary J. Tunnicliffe's comic, family-friendly take on the tale from Avalon Family Films. Sagal will play the concerned mother of Jack (Colin Ford), Shawn will play the pawnbroker who sells Jack his magic beans and Gottfried will play a goose that lays golden eggs.

Chase has a cameo as the keeper of a labyrinth Jack must traverse to meet the giant. Veteran character actor Daniel Roebuck will play the mayor of Jack's hometown.

The live-action film is produced by Gary DePew, who was a line producer on Tunnicliffe's Warner Bros. Pictures release "Hansel & Gretel," which starred Dakota Fanning and Lynn Redgrave. He has produced such films as "Children of the Corn III" and "Children of the Corn IV" and "The Hard Truth."

"Beanstalk" is the first of 10 low-budget family features DePew's Avalon production company will produce. The film recently began production in Los Angeles.

Writers Flip Kobler and Cindy Marcus have scripted a series of Walt Disney Pictures animated sequels to such films as "The Lion King" and "Beauty and the Beast."

"There are winks and nods to pop culture and other fairy tales that adults will also enjoy," said Kobler, who added a stern headmaster (Lloyd) of a school that Rapunzel, Prince Charming, Jack and other well-known characters attend.

"Gretel" aside, most of Tunnicliffe's credits are as a makeup effects artists on dozens of horror films, including "Candyman," "Exorcist: The Beginning" and "Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave." "It's good not to have blood on the set," he said, laughing. "The big fight is a pillow fight."

Sagal is repped by Progressive Artists Agency. Jones is repped by Paradigm. Shawn is repped by Stone Manners Agency and Chris Black at Opus Entertainment. Gottfried is repped by WMA. Chase is repped by Innovative Artists and Erik Kritzer at Kritzer Levine Wilkins Entertainment.