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Malamander adaptation to be directed by Toy Story 4's Josh Cooley


Story by Jack Foley

JOSH Cooley, who directed the Oscar-winning Toy Story 4, is set to write and make his live-action directorial debut with Malamander, an adaptation of the best-selling children’s book by Thomas Taylor.

The project, which is set up at Sony Pictures, has been translated into 20 languages worldwide to date and garnered a nomination for the Carnegie Medal.

The book is set in Eerie-on-Sea, a seaside town filled with oddball characters and mysteries as murky as its winter fog.

It focuses on a young boy named Herbert Lemon, who acts as a hotel’s lost-and-found director, who teams up with Violet Parma, a young girl who is looking for parents she lost as a baby, setting off on an adventure that involves a half-man, half-monster who is said to make dreams come true, and a hook-handed man pursuing them.

The sequel, Gargantis, was published in the UK on May 7 and will be available in the US on May 26 by Walker Books/Walker Books US.

Cooley’s participation in the project marks something of a coup for Sony. The filmmaker spent 17 years at Pixar, working as a storyboard artist on movies such as The Incredibles and Cars, and acting as a writer on 2015’s Inside Out, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for best original screenplay.

He then took on the fourth instalment of the beloved Toy Story franchise, with the resulting movie – released some time after Toy Story 3 – melting hearts on the way to over a billion dollars at the box office and an Oscar victory in February.

However, Cooley decided to leave Pixar in March and began looking for the right project to make his live-action directing debut, having also nabbed Paramount and Hasbro’s inaugural Transformers theatrical animated movie.

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Cooley said: “Creating films and telling stories at Pixar for 17 years has been a dream. The quality of our storytelling was a direct correlation to the quality of the people at Pixar who shaped those stories together, and they will always be my family.

“And while it was a hard decision to leave, I am so excited to jump into and create new worlds with new collaborators and partners. There are so many stories that I want to tell, and I hope to bring some of that Pixar magic with me wherever I go.”

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