Columbia Picks Up 'Swift' From 'Men In Black' Director Barry Sonnenfeld

Barry SonnenfeldThat's "Swift" as in "Tom Swift," the fictional inventor/adventurer concocted by Edward Stratemeyer in the early 1900s for a series of young adult books. The pitch comes from "Men in Black" director Barry Sonnenfeld and Ben David Grabinski, according to a report today in Variety. The article also reveals that Albie Hecht, who had a Tom Swift project of his own, is now in with Sonnenfeld & company to produce.

The plan laid out by Sonnenfeld's and Grabinski's pitch calls for a re-imagining of the Tom Swift character. The focus will actually be on a father-son configuration, both of them superstars in the inventing community. No further details were revealed about the story, though it is strongly suggested that Sonnenfeld will direct.

Sonnenfeld hasn't delivered a major hit as director since 2002's "Men in Black II." It was followed by "RV" in 2006 and a number of TV projects, but Sonnenfeld has generally been living outside the limelight over the past few years. "Swift" sounds like perfect material for the "Men in Black" director, especially since the character has never before received a big screen treatment. I've never read the books myself, but I certainly know of them.

Have any of you readers read the "Tom Swift" books? Any opinions on why a film adaptation has never gotten off the ground before? Do you think this will be the project to change that?