SOURCE: New Line Cinema

June 01, 2005 19:25 ET

New Line Cinema and Walden Media Option and Greenlight Gran Via Productions and Imagine Entertainment Film "How to Eat Fried Worms"

Bob Dolman Tapped to Direct and Write Screenplay for Adaptation of Thomas Rockwell Classic

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 1, 2005 -- New Line Cinema and Walden Media have teamed up with Mark Johnson's Gran Via Productions and Imagine Entertainment to co-produce "How to Eat Fried Worms," a feature film adaptation of Thomas Rockwell's hugely popular young adult book. The film will be written and directed by Bob Dolman ("The Banger Sisters"). Shooting will start late July in Texas.

"How to Eat Fried Worms" tells the story of Billy, an eleven-year-old who inadvertently challenges the town bully on his first day at a new school. To save face and earn the respect of his new classmates, Billy agrees to a bet that will determine his fate at the school -- whether or not he can eat ten worms in one day. As the pressure mounts, he must summon heroic strength to keep his five-year-old brother from blabbing, his weak stomach from betraying him, and his big mouth from getting him into more trouble than he's already in.

"After watching Bob so adeptly steer the performances of Goldie Hawn, Susan Sarandon, and Geoffrey Rush, I thought it was time to raise the stakes and unleash a gaggle of unruly fifth graders on him," said Johnson.

New Line's Cale Boyter and Michael Disco will be overseeing the project on the studio's behalf. Walden Media executive vice president of production Alex Schwartz and creative executive David Kaufmann will oversee the project for the company, while vice president of feature development Tom Williams will handle the project on behalf of Gran Via Productions. Vice president of business and legal affairs Frank H. Smith negotiated the deal on behalf of Walden Media.

"How to Eat Fried Worms" marks the second collaboration between New Line Cinema and Walden Media. "Hoot," a film adaptation of Carl Hiaasen's popular children's book, begins shooting in Florida this summer. The project also marks the re-teaming of Walden Media with producers Mark Johnson and Philip Steuer. Both were producers on the highly anticipated "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe," which opens December 9, 2005.

About New Line Cinema Corporation

New Line Cinema is the oldest and most successful independent film company in the world. In addition to the production, marketing and distribution of theatrical motion pictures, the fully integrated studio has divisions devoted to home entertainment, television, music, theater, licensing, merchandising and international marketing and distribution. New Line is a pioneer in franchise filmmaking, and its Oscar-winning "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy is the most successful film franchise in history. New Line is a unit of Time Warner.

About Walden Media LLC

Walden Media and its sister company Bristol Bay Productions, whose films offer uplifting stories appropriate for audiences of all ages, are part of the Anschutz Film Group (AFG). AFG is a subsidiary of The Anschutz Company, a privately owned investment and holding company with investments primarily in the areas of entertainment, media, telecommunications, natural resources, transportation, and real estate.

Founded by Cary Granat, former president of Miramax Films' Dimension label, and education reformer Micheal Flaherty, Walden Media specializes in entertainment that sparks the imagination and curiosity of kids and provides parents and teachers with materials to continue the learning process.

Walden Media and Twentieth Century Fox recently released "Because of Winn-Dixie," a film by Wayne Wang ("The Joy Luck Club") based on the best-selling Newbery Honor book by Kate DiCamillo. In association with The Walt Disney Company, Walden Media is producing the first live-action feature film adaptations of C.S. Lewis' "The Chronicles of Narnia," beginning with "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." Directed by Academy Award® winner Andrew Adamson ("Shrek 2"), "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" will open in theatres in December 2005. Walden Media has also partnered with Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies to produce the live action / photo real CG animation adaptation of E.B. White's beloved classic "Charlotte's Web."

Contact Information

  • Press contacts:

    Candice McDonough
    New Line Cinema
    310-967-6991

    Ryan Chingcuangco
    Walden Media
    310-887-1044