Barry Sonnenfeld To Direct Lemony Snicket

"Men in Black 2" director Barry Sonnenfeld is to direct "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," the first of what execs at Paramount and Nickelodeon Films hope will be a film franchise based on the bestselling book series by Daniel Handler, who is writing the screenplay, reports Variety.

The movie is set in a distant and nonspecific world that leaves lots of creative room.

The "Snicket" saga revolves around a pint-sized trio of orphans named Sunny, Klaus and Violet who find themselves fobbed off on a series of odd people, including Lemony Snicket, who narrates each of what has grown to a series of eight books since Handler debuted the first title in 1999. Recurring bad guy is a distant family relative named Count Olaf, who initially takes in the kids but clearly is trying to separate them from a family inheritance.

Hecht said the project already is looking for locations and working on set designs, and stressed that the adult characters of Snicket and Olaf are recurring.

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