Dreamworks Animation to make Thimblerig’s Ark Film? I’m BUSTING!

I thought I couldn’t get any more excited than I did last week, when my post What’s Wrong with Christian Filmmaking went viral.  It was an amazing few days, with over 90,000 people having visited my blog in a little under a week, and the article being reposted by actor Kevin Sorbo (Hercules, God is Dead) as well as writer Jefferson Bethke (Jesus > Religion).  What I didn’t realize when it was going nuts, was just how nuts it was going to get.

Thimblerig's Ark Cover ArtOn Sunday afternoon (China time), I received an email from a man named Alex Boese, who said he was a producer at Dreamworks.  Apparently, with the renewed focus on faith-based films brought about by films like Son of God, Noah, God is Dead, and the upcoming Exodus, my article had made the rounds in Hollywood until someone on Facebook shared it with him.  Boese wrote that he read the blog and appreciated what I’d written, but as he was reading, the cover of Thimblerig’s Ark caught his eye.  It’s featured pretty prominently on my blog, and it doesn’t surprise me, as the cover was a fantastic job by seventeen year old up-and-coming artist, Burton Booz.   Intrigued by the cover, Boese went ahead and downloaded the book out of curiosity.  Here is what Boese said in his email:

I asked April, my eleven year old daughter, to give the book a glance, since she is often my barometer for what kids will like and not like.  This was around 7 PM on Thursday night.  When my wife went to get her ready for bed at 8:30, she was so deep into the story that my daughter didn’t hear my wife telling her to brush her teeth.  We let her keep reading, and by 9:30, she’d read the whole book.  She ran downstairs and asked if I could give her the second book.  You should have seen the sad look on her face when I told her there wasn’t a second book yet!  At that point, I knew I’d found something!

Friday morning, Boese took Thimblerig’s Ark up the chain of command at Dreamworks, until it landed on the desk of none other than Jeffrey Katzenberg himself that afternoon.  That’s right – on Friday, March 28 – the day Noah was released in the US –  the CEO of Dreamworks Animation was given a copy of my own version of the ark story, and Boese wrote that Katzenberg “absolutely loved it”!!!

katzYes, you read that correctly.  Jeffrey Katzenberg – who has been responsible for Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, and lots more – loved Thimblerig’s Ark.

I’m busting here.  BUSTING!

It’s all a bit of a whirlwind to me, and I don’t claim to understand everything that’s going on at this point, but if I’m reading this correctly, then it seems like Dreamworks – through this Mr. Boese – has made first contact in an attempt to negotiate some sort of deal for the rights for my first novel.  With the apparently success of Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, it seems like the world’s most famous floating zoo is no longer seen as a hazardous film investment, and Aronofsky’s film was definitely not family fare!  I’m currently trying to find a good entertainment lawyer to help make sure I do things correctly, and I’ve made a few contacts with a law firm based out of Hollywood called the Iocus, Blague, & Witz Entertainment Group, but we’ll see where it goes.

I wonder if Katzenberg will talk his good friend Mr. Spielberg into directing it?  The way things have been going lately, I actually wouldn’t be surprised.

I’ve put up a copy of Boese’s email on an image hosting website, and you can read in detail by clicking here.  Meanwhile, we’re scheduled to have a Skype conference at 2:00 PM Los Angeles time, which will be about 5:00 AM tomorrow morning for me.


Oh, and by the way… since it appears most people don’t click links…

Thimblerig's Ark April 1