ComicBook.com has learned that directing team Will Speck & Josh Gordon have been tapped by Columbia Pictures to direct Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, an adaptation of the best-selling children’s book by Bernard Waber. Will Davies (Puss in Boots, How to Train Your Dragon) will pen the script for the film which has also landed a July 22, 2022 release date. Speck & Gordon, whose previous credits include Office Christmas Party, The Switch, and Blades of Glory will also produce the film alongside Hutch Parker, a former producer on Fox's X-Men movies and the upcoming Venom: Let There Be Carnage. Dan Wilson and Kevin K. Vafi will executive produce.
First published in 1965, Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile the book is described as follows: "Everyone in the neighborhood loves Lyle the crocodile—except for a cranky neighbor and his nervous cat! Can lovable Lyle make everything right with his grumpy neighbors? Lyle the crocodile lives in a house on East 88th Street in New York City. Lyle enjoys helping the Primm family with everyday chores, and playing with the neighborhood kids. He’s the happiest crocodile any home ever had…until one neighbor insists that Lyle belongs in a zoo! Mr. Grumps and his cat, Loretta, don't like crocodiles, and everything Lyle does to win them over seems to go wrong. It will take all of Lyle’s charm—and courage—to reveal the hero, and friend, behind the big, crocodile smile."
Lyle, Lyle Crocodile was previously brought to life as a "storybook musical" on HBO back in 1987, released on home media under Hi-Tops Video as well. Though Lyle, Lyle Crocodile was technically the second book in the series from Waber, it was followed by six more releases including titles like Lyle and the Birthday Party, Lyle Finds His Mother, and concidentally both Lyle at the Office and Lyle at Christmas. It's unclear if the Lyle, Lyle Crocodile movie will be live-action, animated, or a hybrid of the two as of this writing.
The release date for Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile in July of 2022 has the film going head to head with a film that will draw an entirely different audience. Universal Pictures previously announced that they would release the next horror film from Oscar winner Jordan Peele on July 22, 2022 (the new film will star Keke Palmer, Daniel Kaluuya, and Steven Yeun). Naturally this is a classic example of counter programming, as the family audience that would go out to see Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile is likely not also preparing to line up to Peele's follow-up to Us.