Shazam! and Tangled star Zachary Levi is about to bring another family-friendly tale to life. On Monday, it was announced (via The Hollywood Reporter) that Levi will be starring in Sony's live-action adaptation of Harold and the Purple Crayon. Levi's exact role in the project, which is based on the 1955 children's book from Crockett Johnson, is currently unknown. The project is being written by the team of David Guion and Michael Handelman, whose credits include Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and Dinner of Schmucks. The project is being produced by Dolemite Is My Name and Jungle Cruise's John Davis.
Harold and the Purple Crayon tells the story of Harold, a curious four-year-old boy who uses his magical crayon to create worlds around him. The book has become a bit of a cultural icon in the years since its debut, spawning six sequels.
This will be the latest adaptation of the series, after it got a string of animated short films in 1959, 1971, and 1974. It was also adapted into a 13-episode HBO series in 2002, which was narrated by Sharon Stone.
Attempts have been made to bring Harold and the Purple Crayon to the big screen, with Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, Will Smith's Overbrook, and Spike Jonze all working on adaptations at one point and time. Sony Pictures Animation also previously tried to work on a CG animated film adaptation.
This will be one of Levi's upcoming projects, with him also expected to return as the titular character in DC's Shazam! Fury of the Gods. With the sequel expected to begin filming in May, we're gradually getting a step closer to seeing him return as the grown-up superhero version of Billy Batson (Asher Angel).
"[Shazam!] still made so many people really happy and brought people a lot of joy, and that was awesome. So if we can just do at least that, I'm gonna be stoked," Levi said of the sequel during a virtual convention appearance last year. "And if we can do more than that, that's what I'm hoping. I want to bring all that same joy and polish and fix and do whatever we can to the other structures of things that can make that tighter."
"It's about a lot of things, but one of the biggest things is childhood wish fulfillment. And wish fulfillment for any of us who have ever dreamed when we were kids of being a superhero," Levi added. "So to be able to give the audience that really cool payoff where it's not just the one kid, but all these kids get to see themselves as superheroes on screen. And the fact that we got such an incredible opportunity to have such a diverse rainbow of cast, of not just ethnicities but also one of the kids is disabled, in Freddy, and all of them are foster kids, and we got to tell that story."
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