Chris Columbus House of Secrets

Chris Columbus might be best known as the director of hit films like Home Alone and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, but he got his start as a screenwriter. Long before he directed Mrs. Doubtfire or two Harry Potters, Columbus wrote Young Sherlock Holmes, Gremlins and The Goonies, just to name a few. In recent years, it’s that last film most people want to talk to Columbus about because it has resonated with audiences for decades.

About 15 years ago, Columbus was working on another screenplay and, after finishing a portion of it, realized it was way too massive to film. He estimated the budget around $500 million. So he put it away, went about his life, and years later dusted it off. He thought it could work as a novel and, along with co-author Ned Vizzini set to work. The result is called House of Secrets and just hit shelves bearing an endorsement from JK Rowling herself.

House of Secrets tells the story of three siblings who lose their parents and go on an epic adventure, the first of a planned trilogy. Columbus believes the book’s story and themes strongly position it as a “cousin” to The Goonies. Read more below. Read More »

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Funny Story For Half Nelson’s Fleck and Boden

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Like Half Nelson and Sugar before it, It’s Kind of a Funny Story is to be directed by Ryan Fleck and produced by Anna Boden from a screenplay that they wrote together. We knew the picture was in the works some time ago but The Hollywood Reporter is today announcing that Focus Features will “finance, produce and distribute” it. Of course, with the label ‘indie’ not in any way being related to independence, the film will ultimately be considered an ‘indie’ film. People sure do like that idea.

The Hollywood report lets us know that the film was previously being developed at Paramount, who appear to have placed it in turnaround, and is adapted from Ned Vizzini‘s novel of the same name that was published by Miramax Books. Interestingly, the novel is described as being for “young adults,” suggesting a possible shift of target for Fleck and Boden from the very adult-oriented material of their first two films. And yes, I know one of the two key protagonists in Half Nelson was a kid. It doesn’t change a thing. That film was aimed clearly aimed at an adult audience.

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