New reports indicate 30 Rock‘s Tina Fey is in talks to produce the first of a potential film franchise for her Date Night producer/director Shawn Levy based on the children’s book series Fancy Nancy, announced this week.

20th Century Fox reportedly optioned all 46 books in the series just this week for Levy’s production company, 21 Laps Entertainment. The family-friendly books, which were written by Jane O’Connor and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser, follow the attempts of the titular little girl as she livens up the world around her via “extreme dress up” and other fabulous means. [EW]

Sources close to the budding project maintain that Fey – former head writer for Saturday Night Live, creator and star of 30 Rock and writer of the whip-smart script for 2004’s Mean Girls – is likely to stay behind the scenes as co-producer (and probably co-writer at some point). Fey is not expected to take an acting role… but don’t be surprised if the studio insists on it. (Her acting role in 30 Rock was originally the network’s choice, not hers.)

The Fancy Nancy books are published by HarperCollins, with over 20 million copies in print. They have spawned toys, dolls, and are a popular birthday party theme with young girls.

While I am clearly not the target demographic and am nowhere near familiar with the source material, this is a very astute move for Levy and Fey. Levy, who directed Night at the Museum and Night at the Smithsonian, edged out of his comfort zone with last year’s Real Steel, but this material seems firmly in his wheelhouse. I’m a big fan of Fey and 30 Rock and while I’ll probably skip this one, Fey’s tart sense of humor and sharp observations could provide fun for both kids and their parents.

Are you a fan of Fancy Nancy? If so, you’re probably in elementary school and quite likely wondering how you got to this website.

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