‘Maleficent 2’ & ‘A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood’ Scribes Micah Fitzerman-Blue & Noah Harpster To Make Directorial Debut With ‘Bottomless Belly Button’

EXCLUSIVE: Hot off the success of this fall’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, screenwriters Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster are set to make their feature directorial debut with their scripted adaptation of Dash Shaw’s graphic novel Bottomless Belly Button.

I hear that Bow and Arrow Entertainment, who were behind such Sundance premieres as Native Son and The Little Hours, has acquired the graphic novel for the duo.

Bottomless Belly Button follows the dysfunctional adventures of the Loony Family. After 40-some years of marriage, Maggie and David Loony shock their children with their announcement of a planned divorce. This sparks their now adult offspring Dennis, Claire and Peter to come together for a week long Loony family reunion at Maggie and David’s creepy –and possibly haunted– beach house.

Matthew Perniciaro and Michael Sherman of Bow and Arrow will produce the film with Fitzerman-Blue and Harpster, under their Blue Harp shingle, and Youree Henly (The LighthouseA Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood).  Blue Harp’s Karolina Peysakhov will executive produce.

“We’re so excited to be working with Micah and Noah as they take this important next step in their careers and to do so together on a piece that is as deeply human as Dash’s Bottomless Belly Button is something we’re all looking forward to” said Perniciaro and Sherman.

“We’ve loved this book for so long. Bow and Arrow is the perfect home for Bottomless Belly Button, and we are honored to be their partners,” added Fitzerman-Blue and Harpster.

The duo’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood from Sony/TriStar blasted out of a cannon at TIFF and has a current 95% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with a running domestic total by Sunday near $44M. Not only did they write the pic, but executive produced it as well. The pair were honored by PEN America and bestowed the Award For Screenplay Excellence on behalf of the film, and were also recently named as finalists for the 2020 HUMANITAS Prize on behalf of their screenplay. Disney’s Maleficent 2 was also a notable success for the duo this fall with a global gross of $481M (they shared a writing credit with Linda Woolverton) . They also wrote the Disney+ feature Magic Camp directed by Mark Waters.

Their previous work as writers and producers for Amazon’s Transparent garnered them a Peabody Award, as well as Emmy and Writers Guild Award nominations.  The writing duo additionally adapted Jess Walter’s novel Beautiful Ruins for Amblin, with Sam Mendes producing.

Bow and Arrow’s recent projects include Alex Ross Perry’s Her Smell starring this year’s Independent Spirit Award nominee Elisabeth Moss.  The company will next premiere four films at the upcoming 2020 Sundance Film Festival: Disclosure: Trans Lives On ScreenThe FightOmniboat and The Truffle Hunters.

Fitzerman-Blue and Harpster’s Blue Harp has a first-look television deal at Showtime, with additional film and TV projects set up at Netflix, Amazon, FX, Syfy, Vice Studios, Lionsgate, and Gaumont.

Fitzerman-Blue and Harpster are represented by UTA, Kaplan/Perrone and attorney James Feldman of LGNAF&C . Shaw is represented by UTA.  Bow and Arrow is represented by Levin Law Corp.

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