With sequel, 'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs' looks to continue its rain
EXCLUSIVE: When it came out in 2009, "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" quickly became part of a growing class of well-reviewed, successful animated movies made outside the Pixar machine. Now Sony Pictures Animation is looking to keep the weather system churning.
A sequel that has been in early development at the studio is getting a new push, with John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, the writers of this weekend's release, "Horrible Bosses," coming on to write a draft of the script, according to a person familiar with the project who asked not to be identified.
Though the first film was loosely based on the 1970s children's book of the same title written by Ron and Judi Barrett, the sequel will be based on an original idea, not the Barretts' follow-up book, "Pickles to Pittsburgh," the person said.
Phil Lord and Chris Miller are not returning to direct the sequel; instead, the producers are set to hire a director who had worked in a lower-profile capacity developing the story for the original, the person added. A Sony spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The original "Cloudy" film tracked an inventor named Flint Lockwood and a nerdy weather forecaster in the fantasy town of Chewandswallow, which comes under threat when food begins falling from the sky in place of normal precipitation.
"Horrible Bosses," starring Jason Bateman and Charlie Day, is an R-rated comedy featuring several murder plots and a number of bawdy set pieces. The writers will be working in a different key for the family-oriented "Cloudy" sequel (though the original was rated PG, not G). Daley and Goldstein also penned the upcoming Steve Carell film "Burt Wonderstone," but audiences might be most familiar with Daley from his days playing the lead character Sam Weir on the cult TV hit "Freaks and Geeks."
Sony has reason to push forward with a "Cloudy" sequel. The original, with voices including Bill Hader and Anna Faris, grossed $125 million in the U.S. and an additional $118 million around the world.
Sony Pictures Animation has been ramping up its output. On Tuesday, it announced that it had hired Adam Sandler to voice the lead character of Dracula in a new animated movie titled "Hotel Transylvania."
-- Steven Zeitchik
Photo: A scene from "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs." Credit: Sony Pictures Animation