Back in the spring, word was that the Greenberg team of Ben Stiller and Noah Baumbach were preparing the project. But now according to the LA Times, it's Jim Carrey and Mark Waters considering Mr Popper's Penguins.
Certainly that's not set in stone, with the article also mentioning Owen Wilson and Jack Black, and not ruling out Stiller at all. But what seems clear is that Baumbach is definitely no longer involved. Which is a shame, because that indie dramedy sensibility combined with a perennial American children's classic, might have made for interesting results. Not unlike, say, Where the Wild Things Are, or indeed Fantastic Mr Fox, which Baumbach had a hand in.
The novel, written by Richard and Florence Atwater in 1938, involves the titular housepainter receiving a pair of penguins in the post, the offspring of which eventually make up the Popper's Performing Penguins travelling circus act.
It's not hard to imagine Carrey in the title role (or Black or Wilson), and Mark Waters previously directed The Spiderwick Chronicles and Freaky Friday, so knows his way around a children's book and a fantastical family comedy. Does his possible involvement suggest that Fox would be far more comfortable with a straight-down-the-line, reliably mainstream effort than any of that "quirky" nonsense? We couldn't possibly comment.
Sean Anders and John Morris (the pair behind Hot Tub Time Machine) have been at work on the screenplay. Other than that, nothing is confirmed. The rumour mill could grind out several more director / star combinations before the film waddles into production. Watch this space...