Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon Teaming Up With 'It' Director Andy Muschietti for 'The Doubtful Guest' Movie

Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon are teaming up again after writing their Oscar-nominated romantic comedy The Big Sick. Nanjiani and Gordon are set to write The Doubtful Guest, based on the illustrated book by the late Edward Gorey, with It director Andy Muschietti set to direct.

Variety reports that Nanjiani and Gordon are teaming up with sibling duo Andy and Barbara Muschietti (The It movies) for The Doubtful Guest. Nanjiani is also set to star in the adaptation of the 1957 absurdist illustrated book by Edward Gorey, which follows a mysterious penguin-like creature who shows up unannounced at a family’s home to stir up trouble and chaos.

Here is the synopsis for The Doubtful Guest book (via GoodReads):

The doubtful guest shows up unannounced and unwelcome, yet its presence is accepted after only a brief interlude of screaming. The staid, pale, Victorian inhabitants of the mansion alternately stare and glare at the doubtful guest as it tears out whole chapters from books, peels the soles of its white canvas shoes, and broods while lying on the floor (“inconveniently close to the drawing-room door”). Strangely, or rather, typically, as this is a Gorey book, the stymied occupants never ask the guest to leave – and in 17 years it has still “shown no intention of going away.”

In addition to co-writing the script, Gordon and Nanjiani are serving as executive producers. Andy and Barbara Muschietti, whose newly launched production company Double Dream is developing The Doubtful Guest, are producing the movie alongside Dani Bernfeld. Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment is also producing, with Jeb Brody and John Buderwitz overseeing for the company.

It’s unclear whether The Doubtful Guest will be a live-action or animated film, or a hybrid of the two à la Paddington, possibly with Nanjiani voicing the strange penguin creature. Based on the description of the book, which reads more like a surrealist gag than a story that could be transformed into a feature film, The Doubtful Guest might make for a good animated comedy. That would be a departure for Muschietti for sure, who is best known for his horror films like Mama, It, and It: Chapter 2. But it might be a fun role for Nanjiani — though a waste of his newly ripped bod that he had to get for Marvel’s The Eternals — who has been absent from the comedy scene recently.

Nanjiani will next appear in the Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi, while Gordon is writing the screenplay for the Netflix movie Ball and Chain, a superhero movie starring Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson. The last time the married couple paired up together professionally was to executive produce the Apple TV Plus series Little America, so it’ll be exciting to see what they could come up with next as a follow-up to The Big Sick, which was based on their own real-life romance.

The Doubtful Guest is owned by the Edward Gorey Charitable Trust, a non-profit organization that backs animal welfare causes. Trustees Eric D. Sherman and R. Andrew Boose will be executive producers on the big-screen adaptation.

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