More than five-and-a-half months after development was first revealed — also after a period in which Lisa Cholodenko, its prospective helmer, took a few other projects into consideration — Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day has been given a dose of bad news.

We might as well get the worst over with right off the bat: Because of budgetary concerns, 20th Century Fox are putting the project in turnaround — i.e., letting it go — which is, obviously, one of the worst things that could happen to any in-development project. (The use of “obviously” notwithstanding, does that even need to be said? It’s really not good.) However, Cholodenko is “far along the development track” with Alexander, the sort of status which seems to have encouraged her and Shawn Levy‘s 21 Laps, they being the producers, to bring it somewhere else. Best of all? There’s probably enough “here” to earn interest from some of the right people.

So while Judith Viorst‘s book might take a bit of extra time to hit theaters, it’s hard to picture this adaptation of a childhood classic — starring Steve Carell, no less — will be disappearing forever.

Here’s a summary of what’s likely to come:

“I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there’s gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.”

So begin the trials and tribulations of the irascible Alexander, who has been earning the sympathy of readers since 1972. People of all ages have terrible, horrible days, and Alexander offers us the cranky commiseration we crave as well as a reminder that things may not be all that bad.

As Alexander’s day progresses, he faces a barrage of bummers worthy of a country- western song: getting smushed in the middle seat of the car, a dessertless lunch sack, a cavity at the dentist’s office, stripeless sneakers, witnessing kissing on television, and being forced to sleep in railroad-train pajamas. He resolves several times to move to Australia.”

Is this news troublesome, or do you think Cholodenko will get to Alexander soon enough?

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