The Hollywood Reporter recently announced that Sony Pictures has a live-action Harold and the Purple Crayon movie in the works. The film is based on the beloved children’s book of the same title, written by Crockett Johnson in 1955. The only known actor on board for the developing project is Zachary Levi, star of the DC Films box-office hit Shazam! (2019). The film’s screenplay is said to be written by David Guion and Michael Handelman, who co-wrote Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014) and comedies The Ex (2006) and Dinner for Schmucks (2010). The live-action film will be produced by John Davis of Davis Entertainment. Very little else is known about Sony’s development of Harold and the Purple Crayon.
Harold and the Purple Crayon tells the story of four-year-old Harold and his magical purple crayon. With his trusty utensil, the little boy’s drawings become a part of his world and from there the fun begins. The original story met such success that it generated an entire literary series, with six other books in the collection. Harold has also been adapted into an HBO TV series (2001-02) with Sharon Stone as narrator.
Attempts at creating a live-action version of Harold and the Purple Crayon have been made in the past. Warner Bros., Amblin Entertainment (a Steven Spielberg Company), and even Will Smith’s production company Overlook have all been rumored to have taken a jab at bringing the production into fruition. Sony, having produced an updated animated version of Harold in 2006, may have more familiarity with the story to bring it to life (live-action life that is).
Zachary Levi’s role in Harold has been met with many questions since THR made the announcement. It is not known whether he will play an adult Harold or a different adult-figure from the book–or a completely new addition to the story altogether. Levi became a household name during the 2007-2012 television series Chuck and recently, he had a featured role in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s (2018- ) second season. Along with his television success, he has voiced the character of Flynn Rider in Disney’s Tangled (2010). Harold is his newest project in the works, as a sequel to Shazam!, entitled Shazam! Fury of the Gods, and American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story were also announced in 2020.