The Guncle follows a reclusive, once-famous gay television star who takes his young niece and nephew into his Palm Springs home after their mother dies suddenly, introducing them to his outsized life and unique wisdom and bringing about healing for all three.
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Lionsgate landed rights to the book from Penguin Random House’s Putnam imprint, in a competitive situation, shortly after its publication last May. Rowley is adapting the screenplay and will exec produce. Kristin Burr will produce through her Burr! Productions, alongside Rob Weisbach, with Burr! Productions’ Jessica Friedman to serve as co-producer. James Myers and Scott O’Brien are overseeing the project on behalf of the studio.
“Since we acquired this book last year, it’s become a favorite of readers everywhere, including Jason – who’ll capture the emotion and warmth alongside the huge laughs that make this story so special,” said Lionsgate Motion Picture Group’s President, Nathan Kahane.
“Steven Rowley’s book THE GUNCLE captured my heart right away,” shared Moore. “It is hilarious in its observation of the intersection of wanting a family and not being fully equipped yet to run one. I’m thrilled to be collaborating with my friends at Lionsgate again to bring this story to audiences.”
“We’ve been big fans of Jason’s since Avenue Q, so it’s hugely excited to finally work with him,” added Burr. “Jason will nail the heart and humor of this beloved book.”
Moore most recently directed Lionsgate’s action rom-com Shotgun Wedding, starring Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel, which is slated for release on Prime Video. HIs previous film work includes directing the comedy hits Pitch Perfect and Sisters. Moore went on to exec produce Pitch Perfect 2 & 3, and has also directed episodes of series including Dawson’s Creek, Everwood, One Tree Hill, Brothers & Sisters and Trophy Wife.
Also the creative force behind some of Broadway’s biggest hits, Moore has directed titles including Fully Committed; Shrek the Musical, for which he earned Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk award nominations; Steel Magnolias; Avenue Q, for which he received a Tony Award nomination; and Jerry Springer: The Opera at Carnegie Hall. His most recent stage credits are the musical Superhero and Tony Award winner The Cher Show.
Moore will next direct and produce Temple Hill’s Goodbye for Now, and is also developing an adaptation of Emma Straub’s book This Time Tomorrow for Lionsgate, among other projects. He is represented by WME and LBI Entertainment.
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