It has been more than a decade since Barry Josephson first brought Enchanted, Walt Disney Pictures' big release for the forthcoming US Thanksgiving holiday weekend, to the studio.
At the time, Josephson was starting out as a producer after his stint as Columbia Pictures' president of worldwide production. So he understood what the spec script by Blast From the Past writer Bill Kelly about a fairy-tale princess banished to modern day New York was about to go through: moving into and out of favour with studio regimes and attracting interest from different directors and writers along the way.
"It just went through a process of so many people with so many points of view taking a try and not succeeding," the producer recalls.
Eventually, the experience helped Josephson, Kelly and director Kevin Lima (Tarzan, 102 Dalmatians) find a take on the material that worked for all involved. And the result is an entertaining family film which deftly mixes old-school animation with live action, fairy-tale lore with contemporary romantic comedy, and several spirited song and dance numbers - written by Pocahontas' Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz and choreographed by Moulin Rouge's John O'Connell - with winking references to fairy-tale-based Disney classics of the past.
Amy Adams, a multiple award winner for her performance in 2005 indie outing Junebug, plays the starry-eyed Giselle, and Grey's Anatomy heartthrob Patrick Dempsey is the down-to-earth Manhattan lawyer who turns out to be her real Prince Charming.
Josephson is hoping that on its November 21 North American release, and its international roll-out between then and Christmas, the film will pull in the kind of all-inclusive audience that made Men In Black one of his triumphs at Columbia.
"I really enjoyed the first weekend of Men In Black, when I went to a theatre and just everybody was laughing," he explains. "My dream for Enchanted was that. I wanted to appeal to all audiences."
If the dream comes true, it will bode well for Josephson's next project, family adventure They Came From Upstairs, written by Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit scribe Mark Burton. Josephson is working with some of the Men In Black animators on alien characters for the Fox project, scheduled for a January start.
Besides its family features, Fox-based Josephson Entertainment will also continue to work on TV and other projects: Bones, the company's primetime crime drama for the US Fox network, is in its third season.
"For me, there's no limit to what the company could do," Josephson says. "It's a matter of where the material is."