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Baumbach ponders Poppers Penguins

Director Noah Baumbach and his Greenberg star Ben Stiller are in negotiations to adapt children’s book Mr Popper’s Penguins for 20th Century Fox.

This would mark Baumbach’s second foray into kiddie fare after co-writing Fantastic Mr Fox (we're not counting The Emperor's Children ).

Penguins would be his first kiddie directing gig, having mostly helmed strictly adult dramadies like The Squid And The Whale and Margot’s Wedding .

Mr Popper’s Penguins was first published in 1938, and written by Richard and Florence Atwater, who won the Newbury Award for their work in 1939.

The story follows a house painter who writes to arctic explorers, and is sent back a real-life penguin which he keeps in an icebox.

Eventually he ends up with a dozen penguins (thanks to the local zoo’s donation of a female, work it out for yourself), and creates his own Performing Penguins stage show.

Stiller would no doubt play the titular lead, but has yet to commit to the project. But if he enjoyed working with Baumbach on Greenberg – word is that he did – we imagine he’ll leap at this.

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