Kumail Nanjiani is set to co-write and star in an adaptation of Edward Gorey‘s short, illustrated book The Doubtful Guest that will be directed by It filmmaker Andy Muschietti.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Steven Spielberg‘s Amblin Partners beat out several other suitors for the hot package, which will see Nanjiani and his wife, Emily V. Gordon, write the script after being nominated for an Oscar for their work on The Big Sick.
Andy and Barbara Muschietti will produce the movie along with Dani Bernfeld, while Nanjiani and Gordon will executive produce alongside Eric D. Sherman and R. Andrew Boose, who run the Edward Gorey Charitable Trust. Amblin executives Jeb Brody and John Buderwitz will oversee the project for the studio.
First published in 1957, The Doubtful Guest is a 14-page story that begins with the sudden appearance of a strange, penguin-like creature in a turn-of-the-century manor house occupied by an aristocratic family that struggles to coexist with the mischievous creature, who shows no intention of ever leaving.
Gorey intended for The Doubtful Guest to be released as a children’s book but its publisher, Doubleday, declined to do so, as the open-ended story was rather surreal and kind of creepy. The material actually sounds super interesting, and I look forward to seeing how Nanjiani and Gordon approach this adaptation, and what kind of tone Muschietti hopes to strike with the movie.
Muschietti previously directed both movies in New Line‘s billion-dollar It franchise, and he’s currently in London shooting The Flash, which Barbara is producing. The Muschiettis are also producing The Electric State for the Russo brothers, and Andy is also developing an adaptation of the popular manga Attack on Titan.
Nanjiani recently starred in the action comedies The Lovebirds and Stuber, and he’ll soon be seen in Marvel’s The Eternals, which hails from director Chloé Zhao, who just won two Oscars for Nomadland. Disney will release Eternals on Nov. 5, and that’s not the only business Nanjiani has with the studio, as he’ll soon begin shooting the Disney+ Star Wars series Obi-Wan Kenobi with Ewan McGregor.