The company has acquired feature rights to Adam Gidwitz’s children’s book and will finance the development and produce alongside Marissa McMahon of Kamala Films.

Jon Gunn and John W Mann will adapt the screenplay about two children who hold the secret to breaking out of a dark world inflected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm’s fairy tales.

“We have been searching for distinctive source material for our first family project,” FilmNation Entertainment’s Aaron Ryder (pictured), who will produce the live-action feature with Karen Lunder.

“We found this in Gidwitz’s witty manuscript and look forward to nurturing the project with our partners at Kamala Films.”

“Gidwitz’s A Tale Dark & Grimm is a smart, addictive, and hilariously gruesome narrative that turns familiar fairy tales on their head, much to the delight of both children and parents,” McMahon added. “I’m looking forward to joining Mann, Gunn and the FilmNation team to bring this fantastically original story to the big screen.” 

Mann and Gunn are working with Universal on an updated spin of The Nutcracker with producers Chernin Entertainment.