What's the latest? Where's Phil? What's going on now? Oh, so much it's hard to know where to start!
As you may have heard, Big Idea is producing a second VeggieTales feature film in partnership with Universal Studios. Way back in 2002 as Jonah was headed for theaters, I wrote a script for a follow-up movie about the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything. I had also written a script for a movie about Bob and Larry's origins (called The Bob & Larry Movie), but that script had been set aside due to budget concerns. So I wrote a second script that was simpler and sillier based on those goofy little pirates, and the premise that great adventure can happen when "fake" heroes are thrust into real adventure and forced to become real heroes. (See The Three Amigos or Galaxy Quest for good examples of this premise.) Written in about a month, the script turned out to be a lot of fun, but, like everything else, was lost in the ensuing bankruptcy.
Four years later it's alive again, to be produced at Dan Krech Productions in Toronto (where all post-bankruptcy veggies are produced) and directed by none other than Mike Nawrocki, working off my original script. We actually pitched Jonah to Universal way back in 2001, but that was before Mel Gibson became a "Christian filmmaker" and no major studio was yet interested in the theater-going habits of Christians. All that has changed, and Universal Studios is now an excited partner for Bob and Larry's next trip to the multiplex. The film is currently expected to be in theaters in early 2008. I'll keep you posted.
The Pig Book
My first non-veggie kids book, Sidney & Norman – A Tale of Two Pigs, will be in stores the second week of September! I've got a copy of it in my hand, and it looks fantastic. Justin Gerard did a bang-up job on the illustrations. It's a really touching story – in the line of Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree. Here's the cover. You should be able to find it in most Christian bookstores as well as Borders, Barnes & Noble and others this September.
I have gotten a ton of feedback from people who have read my account on this website of the fall of Big Idea Productions. Literally. A ton. Several business owners have emailed to say they've made it required reading for every employee at their companies. There is much more to that story that still hasn't been told, including how VeggieTales started in the first place and what lessons God has taught me through it all. So much more to tell that I've finally put it all down in a book. That's right – a book for grown-ups! My very first! It's called Me, Myself & Bob, and it tells the entire story of, well, me, myself, and Bob. And bankruptcy court, and what God has done through all of this. It's pretty amazing, really. Thomas Nelson Publishers will be releasing Me, Myself & Bob early next year. I'll keep you posted. Fun, fun stuff.