Norton Juster‘s classic children’s novel, The Phantom Tollbooth followed the journey of its leading character, Milo, as he found his way out of a fantasy kingdom. Now The Phantom Tollbooth itself may finally chart a course from development hell and arrive in theaters 55 years after its initial release!
The Tracking Board reports that screenwriter Michael Vukadinovich has signed on for a new draft of The Phantom Tollbooth, which recently jumped studios—to Tristar from Warner Bros, where it languished for years until the project lost its director Gary Ross and screenwriter Alex Tse. It’s still going to need a new director, but we’re excited to see it get some forward momentum again with Vukadinovich. Though the scribe doesn’t have many film credits to his name, he’s written a script based on Disney’s The Wind and the Willows and the famous Disneyland ride, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, as well as The Three Misfortunes of Geppetto for Fox (the latter two are currently in development).
The original novel (which was illustrated by Jules Feiffer) centered on Milo, a young boy who received a tollbooth that transported him away from his dull and ordinary life and into the Kingdom of Wisdom, where he soon found himself on a quest to save the realm and put his accumulated school knowledge to good use. Along the way, Milo teamed up with Tock, a literal watchdog —as in a giant, talking dog with alarm clocks on each side of his body—who became one of the book’s breakout characters.
There have been several attempts to bring The Phantom Tollbooth to life before, most notably an animated adaptation by Chuck Jones and MGM in 1970. Juster was reportedly less than thrilled with that version of his story, so we hope that Vukadinovich and the new director seek out his advice for the latest incarnation and actually bring it to life.
Are you happy to hear that The Phantom Tollbooth movie may be coming to theaters? Who would you cast in the film? Share your picks in the comments below!
Image: Random House