While filmmaker James Mangold made a splash this year with the gritty Western noir Logan, he may be changing things up significantly with a future project. Per THR, Mangold has signed on to direct an adaptation of the Newberry Award-winning children’s book Crenshaw, by author Katherine Applegate, for 20th Century Fox. The story follows a young boy who’s fallen on hard times and is visited by his imaginary friend, a giant cat named Crenshaw. This will be a live-action adaptation so no doubt CG will be involved to bring the creature to life, and the first draft of the script was penned by Fred Seton.
This may come as a surprising choice of material for some, but it’s not really. For one, the The Wolverine filmmaker proved incredibly adept at directing a child actor in Logan. But for another, Mangold is something of a journeyman director—he’s navigated a variety of genres to great success, from 3:10 to Yuma to Kate & Leopold to Walk the Line. He’s also the guy who brought the sorely underrated Tom Cruise action comedy Knight and Day to life, so I’m game to see pretty much anything he decides to make.
It’s unclear where this project falls on Mangold’s plate. He’s actively developing a Logan spinoff focusing on Dafne Keene’s young character X-24, and has a few other projects in the works. Before Logan he was gearing up to make the mystery adaptation Deep Blue Goodbye, but weeks before filming was set to begin Christian Bale suffered a knee injury that put the film on hiatus, and eventually the whole thing was scrapped.
So yeah, add this one to the pile of potential projects on Mangold’s plate, but this is an intriguing choice.