Chris Columbus’ 26th Street Pictures Options David Michael Slater Novel ‘The Vanishing’ For Film; Jay Lender Set To Script Adaptation

EXCLUSIVE: Chris Columbus’ production company 26th Street Pictures has optioned the David Michael Slater novel The Vanishing for film, tapping Jay Lender (SpongeBob SquarePants) to script an adaptation.

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A work of historical fiction infused with magical realism, The Vanishing was published by Library Tales Publishing last fall. The book tells the story of an invisible girl who must embark on a journey of redemption and revenge to save her best friend from the horrors of Nazi Germany.

While it’s not yet clear who all will produce the feature adaptation, Deadline understands that the deal bringing The Vanishing to 26th Street was completed well ahead of the WGA strike.

An Oscar-nominated filmmaker known for titles like Adventures in Babysitting, Home Alone and Mrs. Doubtfire, as well as multiple Harry Potter films, Columbus teamed with Michael Barnathan and Mark Radcliffe to launch his banner in 1994. It was originally named 1492 Pictures, with Columbus opting to rechristen it just a year or two ago. 26th Street most recently produced Netflix’s Chupa, a fantasy adventure pic from Jonás Cuarón which bowed on the platform in April, making Top 10 Film lists in 91 countries and remaining on the streamer’s Global Top 10 Films (English) list for four weeks.

A two-time Emmy nominee best known for his work as a writer, director and storyboard artist on Nickelodeon’s kids’ animated series SpongeBob SquarePants, Lender previously adapted Slater’s books Fun & Games and Sparks for the screen, also serving as the illustrator for Slater’s recent picture book, Poopy McPooFace. He also notably helmed two seasons of Disney Channel’s Phineas and Ferb, among other projects.

Over the last two decades, Slater has published nearly 30 books, spanning fiction and nonfiction, for children, teens and adults. Among his other recent works are the books A Dire Situation and Bear with Me.

Slater is repped by Michael Lewis & Associates; Lender by Heller Highwater Productions; and Columbus by WME and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller.

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