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Steve Carell to star in live-action Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, still not star in our Dan In Real Life sequel

As reported last spring, The Kids Are All Right director Lisa Cholodenko is preparing a live-action adaptation of Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, the children’s literature classic that has introduced so many kids to their very first first-world problems. For those of you who never learned to read, your caseworker will now inform you that the story centers around a young man who suffers the mounting humiliation of having gum in his hair, not getting a prize in his cereal, and being forced to wear pajamas he dislikes by a loving family who provides for him, until suddenly they are tossed into the streets to starve to death and Alexander learns what a bad day really is, and also he dies of leukemia. Or, actually, he whines constantly that he wants to move to Australia, and his mom comforts him anyway because it is a children’s book.

And while Chodolenko is still searching for the right child actor who can make being spoiled seem endearing, Deadline reports that Steve Carell will likely be the first star to join the film in the role of “Ben,” a character whose name doesn’t actually appear in the book. Nevertheless, we’ll assume “Ben” is most likely Alexander’s father—the one who becomes annoyed when Alexander messes up his office, which is supposed to engender sympathy for Alexander, despite Alexander behaving throughout like a shameless, particularly selfish chimpanzee.

And of course, it’s part of what’s shaping up to be a busy schedule of forthcoming films for Steve Carell—including Burt Wonderstone, Charlie Kaufman’s Frank Or Francis, and sequels to Anchorman and Despicable Me—that still somehow does not include the ongoing Dan In Real Life: Back 2 The Life sequel (previous scenes from which can be found here, here, and here). Fortunately it continues to entertain me, if no one else.


Dan is shoved forward roughly into a shadowy clearing by Marie’s footsoldiers, then forced to kneel before a familiar shape. After his eyes adjust, Dan realizes what he’s looking at: a throne flanked by a pair of giant stone bowling pins, a mocking reminder of that time he met Marie at a bowling alley and then Mitch and his entire family accidentally caught them at the bowling alley right while they were kissing, because those kinds of coincidentally timed meetings happen all the time at bowling alleys. Dan flinches at the memory of betraying Mitch, as well as at the still-lingering hair-spikes from Mitch’s exploded head that are plastered to his face.


Well, well. If it isn’t the Murderer of Love… and a bunch of my alien babies. I am impressed by your tenacity. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: You’re smooth. 

Actually, no, I’m not smooth. I’m Dan.

Dan laughs at this, just like the last time he said it, only this time he actually realizes he’s the only one laughing.

MARIE (mockingly)

I’m looking for a book, Dan, one to help me with an awkward situation. Something funny might be nice, but not necessarily big, “ha ha ha,” “laugh laugh laugh” funny, and certainly not make-fun-of-other-people funny, but rather something human-funny. Like how funny it is that humans continue to strive for their pitiful survival, despite the fact that they are now merely grubs for my vast army of lizard conquerors. What I mean is, I’m looking to be swept up, much like I will sweep up the bones of all Earth’s children and cast them into the fire.

Well, you rarely find that all in one book.

They exchange deadpan glances for several minutes while a winsome Sondre Lerche tune plays softly in the background—a near-silence finally broken by one of Marie’s guards vomiting acidic bile, which begins eating through Dan’s shoulder.

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