Dale E. Basye's best-selling, dark children's book series takes a page from Dante's "Inferno" as it chronicles the adventures of two siblings who are killed in a marshmallow explosion and don't quite make it to heaven, but find themselves in the twisted reform-school realm of Heck.
Timbers, a Tony nominee for the book to the rock musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, which he also directed, is in final negotiations to direct the film for MGM, Playbill.com has learned.
"I grew up loving films like 'Beetlejuice,' 'Dark Crystal' and 'Willy Wonka,' so it's going to be fun getting to conceive the visual world of 'Heck' - a funny, wicked, wholly original universe with its own outsize theatricality," Timbers said in a statement to Playbill.com.
Academy Award nominee Chris Weitz ("About A Boy") wrote the latest draft of the screenplay that will focus on the first book in the series, with potential for more films to roll-out in the franchise.
Jonathan Glickman and Cassidy Lange are executive producing with Karen Rosenfelt ("Twilight") as producer.
Timbers upcoming projects also include Rocky: The Musical, by Tony winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, which will debut in Germany in 2012. He also staged The Pee wee Herman Show on Broadway last season. He co-directed Peter and the Starcatcher with Tony winner Roger Rees Off-Broadway at the New York Theatre Workshop in spring 2010. They will repeat their work on the Broadway production this spring.