Lil Rel Howery is drawing himself into the imaginative world of Harold and the Purple Crayon. Deadline reports that Howery will join Zachary Levi (Shazam!) in the live-action film based on the beloved children’s book of the same name. Two time Academy Award nominated director Carlos Saldanha is attached to direct.
The feature will pull its story from Crockett Johnson’s timeless children’s book published in 1955. An immediate classic, the story follows a four-year-old boy named Harold who uses his purple crayon to shape the world around him. The original best-selling book was such a hit that it spawned six follow up stories. Writing team David Guion and Michael Handelman, who previously worked together on the films Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and Dinner for Schmucks, penned the live action feature’s screenplay.
2021 was a busy year for Howery, as he starred in the comedy feature Free Guy, as well as the buddy comedy Vacation Friends. Although he shines in comedic roles, Howery is no stranger to the drama-thriller world, appearing in Netflix’s hit film Bird Box, Jordan Peele’s groundbreaking horror film Get Out, and Judas and The Black Messiah.
While Howery’s role in Harold and the Purple Crayon has yet to be announced, we can guess that with his background, he’ll likely be playing a comedic character joining Harold on his journey. We can also expect that with Saldanha helming as director, the film will be a wondrous and colorful experience. Along with his Academy Award nominations for Ferdinand and Gone Nutty, the animator and director has countless hits under his belt. Saldanha shaped the world of Ice Age with his directorial vision in three of the franchise’s movies, including the first. He also served as the director for 20th Century Fox Animation’s Rio as well as its sequel, Rio 2.
In the past, the story of Harold was made into a thirteen-episode series for HBO, which was narrated by Sharon Stone, with Connor Matheus voicing Harold. A hit among fans and critics alike, the animated series earned itself a Daytime Emmy Award as well an Annie Award nomination.
Judging by the world’s love for the story of Harold and the Purple Crayon and the ever growing list of stars signing on to join the production, we have no doubt that this newest live-action adaptation will be a hit.