Javier Bardem is getting animated…
The 52-year-old Spanish Oscar-winning actor will star in Will Speck and Josh Gordon’s Lyle, Lyle Crocodile for Sony Pictures.
Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the Oscar-winning songwriting team behind the music of La La Land and upcoming Dear Evan Hansen film, will reportedly write original songs for the film.
Speck and Gordon will direct with the script, based on the best-selling children’s book by Bernard Waber, being adapted by Will Davies.
First published in 1965, the venerable children’s tale centers on the title reptile, who lives in a house on East 88th Street in New York City. Lyle enjoys helping the Primm family with everyday chores, and playing with the neighborhood kids. He’s the happiest crocodile any home ever had…until one neighbor insists that Lyle belongs in a zoo. Mr. Grumps and his cat, Loretta, don’t like crocodiles, and everything Lyle does to win them over seems to go wrong. It will take all of Lyle’s charm—and courage—to reveal the hero, and friend, behind the big crocodile smile.
The film will debut on July 22, 2022.
For an actor known more for his adult roles like Biutiful and his Oscar-winning work in No Country For Old Men, the film marks his rare trek into the family-friendly genre.
But sources say Waber’s original story was very appealing to Bardem from the moment he was offered the part.
This isn’t his first dive into material meant for all ages. He’s previously played the villain in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and will play King Triton in Disney’s live action adaptation of its acclaimed animated film The Little Mermaid.
When it comes to adult roles, Bardem’s upcoming slate includes Legendary’s Dune, Fernando León de Aranoa’s The Good Boss (El Buen Patron) and Aaron Sorkin’s Being The Ricardos, where he plays Desi Arnaz, opposite Nicole Kidman’s Lucille Ball.