Oscar-winning actor Javier Bardem (Biutiful, No Country for Old Men) will sink his teeth into a children’s classic as the star of Sony Pictures’ live-action hybrid adaptation of Lyle, Lyle Crocodile. The 1960s children’s book by Bernar Waber is being brought to the big screen by directors/producers Will Speck & Josh Gordon (upcoming projects Distant, Hit Monkey) from a script by Will Davies (How to Train Your Dragon, Johnny English), with original songs by Oscar-winning duo Benj Pasek & Justin Pal (La La Land).
Published in 1965 as a sequel to The House on East 88th Street, Lyle, Lyle Crocodile centers on the titular city-dwelling crocodile who lives in an old Victorian brownstone with the Primms family. The book unfolds as Lyle and Mrs. Primm run into their neighbor, Mr. Grumps, who has a grudge against Lyle on behalf of his frightened cat. Mr. Grumps has Lyle locked up in the zoo, where the croc is rescued by his old performing partner and returns to 88th Street just in time to rescue Mr. Grumps from a house fire.
The books were adapted into a musical animated special for HBO in 1987, animated and directed by Michael Sporn.
The big screen adaptation is being produced by Speck & Gordon and Hutch Parker; exec produced by Dan Wilson (Hutch Parker Ent.), Kevin K. Vafi (Speck & Gordon) and Pasek & Paul. Brittany Morissey is overseeing the project for Sony Pictures.
Lyle, Lyle Crocodile is slated for release on July 22, 2022.