'Napoleon Dynamite' Director Relegated to Disney Pablum 'The Pet'

March 1, 2012


Jared Hess, the director who made for a name for himself with Napoleon Dynamite only to drown in his own kitsch, has at last had his one "auteur" feather wrenched out of his hat. After the critical and box office failure of Gentlemen Broncos, now Hess shall be guided by the words of a Disney writers program graduate partially-responsible for Doctor Dolittle: Tail to the Chief.

Disney has just attached Hess to direct The Pet from a script by Matt Lieberman, the Disney-schooled writer currently working on a way to modernize Short Circuit by giving him a hover-base instead of tank treads or something. The script has reportedly been sitting around undeveloped in a Disney drawer for years, and was most recently re-written by the man who gave life to Reese Witherspoon and her zany stalking suitors in This Means War. The family-oriented plot follows a man abducted by alien superiors and kept as a family pet, which Hess can probably relate to now that the Mouse House has let him in to sit on their couch despite his paws all muddied with Gentlemen Broncos.

Though this will be Hess's first time directing a script that's not his own, he'll reportedly be able to make it his own and "will oversee all aspects of creative development going forward." So who's to say the alien race doesn't wear a uniform of campy sweaters?

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