Walden in touch with 'Inner Child' pitch

Looks to add family comedies to its slate with project

With a goal to add family comedies to its slate, Walden Media has picked up a pitch by Ross Venokur called "Inner Child."

The project marks the first acquisition by newly appointed Walden co-CEO Michael Bostick. The deal was brought to Walden by Amanda Morgan Palmer, who just came aboard as senior vp development and production.

The story centers on an uptight dad whose life is turned upside down when his inner child takes control of his life.

Walden has been successful producing films in which the protagonist is a young adult, including the "Chronicles of Narnia" franchise -- which brought in $55 million at the U.S. boxoffice last weekend with its "Prince Caspian" -- and "Bridge to Terabithia."

But it has yet to really tap into films with an adult protagonist, Bostwick said.

"It's a big idea ... with themes of reawakening the imagination in us all," Bostwick said. "It's a step in a new direction, which is expanding the definition of a PG-rated family film."

The "Inner Child" project will be part of Walden's joint venture with Fox to market and release family films. The studio has released with Walden "Nim's Island" and "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium."

Up next for Walden is the July 11 release of "Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D," distributed by Warner Bros.

Venokur, who started his career as a children's book author, sold his pitch eight days after he moved to ICM from CAA. He most recently sold "All Boxed Up" as a pitch to New Line and "The Eighth Wonder" as a pitch to Universal, with Benderspink producing both.