Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black, Addams Family Values) and Frank Marshall (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Jurassic World) are teaming up to turn Jane Smiley’s novel Perestroika in Paris into a 2D animated feature, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Sonnenfeld will direct and Marshall will produce via his banner, The Kennedy/Marshall Company. The production has yet to find a screenwriter to pen the script.
Perestroika in Paris is a satirical tale centering on a group of anthropomorphic animals wandering Paris’ Champs de Mar. A talking racehorse, nicknamed Paras for short, is at the center of the narrative. Paras — a curious soul yearning for a taste of freedom — wanders away from the track one night when her trainer leaves the stall door slightly ajar. She stumbles upon various animals who become her street-wandering companions: a sophisticated shorthaired pointer, a snobbish raven, a mouse on the prowl for a mate, and a bickering pair of mallards. Yet, how long can a racehorse enjoy the City of Lights before the authorities close in?
The novel, published in 2020, was Smiley’s first adult-targeted work in five years. Yet, the tale is appropriate for children and adults alike, contemplating the ideas of ownership and freedom through a PG lens — in stark contrast to its mingling mammal predecessors like Animal Farm or The Master and the Margarita.
Smiley is arguably best known for her 1992 Pulitzer-Prize winning novel A Thousand Acres. She has since taken home the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature and the Fitzgerald Award for Achievement in American Literature. Marshall, who has also produced Seabiscuit and War Horse, should feel right at home with the subject matter. The project is in very early development stages with a writer, release date, and voice cast yet to be announced.