Originally Published: June 2, 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.