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Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day Cast, Director, Writer, Plot And More Details

Classic children's books are ripe for reinterpretation. Whether it's as an animated feature, a live-action movie, or a TV series, there are a million ways to bring books to life for young readers everywhere. For example, "Where the Wild Things Are" got a live-action movie featuring costumed actors as the titular Wild Things, and Beverly Cleary's "Ramona" series was adapted into both a series starring Sarah Polley and a one-shot movie starring Selena Gomez. The less said about Mike Myers' attempt at turning "The Cat in the Hat" into a live-action film, the better.

The children's picture book classic "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day," released in 1972 and written by Judith Viorst with illustrations by Ray Cruz spawned three sequels and has received two adaptions so far. The first was an animated musical from HBO released to the cable network as a special in 1990 and the second was a 2014 film released by Disney. It looks like the House of Mouse is about to take another whack at the property, this time via Disney+.

Disney+'s upcoming film version of the book, much like the 2014 adaption, will expand Alexander's adventures beyond his crummy day and give him a whole host of new family members to help ameliorate — or share in — his bad luck. Here's what we know about this incoming adaption of Viorst's classic tome.

When will Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day be released?

As of press time, there has been no announced release date for Disney+'s version of "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day." But there is good news as to when the film began production. The Hollywood Reporter announced in October of 2022 that Disney+ was looking to begin filming sometime in the spring of 2023 in the state of New Mexico.

At this point — due to the now-concluded SAG-AFTRA strike — we're assuming that "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" will be released at some point in early or mid-2024, although we can't say for sure. As always, a lot depends on how long post-production takes and how much work it will require of the movie's editorial staff, but there's a very good chance that families will be able to enjoy the movie at some point in the first half of next year.

What is the plot of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day?

As we hinted above, this version of "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" is definitely going to be unique compared to its picture book origin point. First of all, the film will focus on a Mexican-American family, marking the first time Alexander and his family have been portrayed by Latino actors. 

The official synopsis of the movie, as published by Deadline, promises book lovers everywhere that one of the basics of Alexander's world will likely remain unchanged — his luck isn't going to be the best. The synopsis declares, "'Alexander' tells the story of 11-year-old Alexander Garcia who thinks he has the worst luck in the world. When his family sets off on a road trip to California, he's pretty sure disaster awaits at every corner. His anxiety only increases when a family secret is revealed." Additional information via The Hollywood Reporter suggests that the Garcia family's busy lives have pulled them in different directions and away from their cultural roots.

This version of the tale naturally takes the story a few steps beyond its original single-day time frame and adds a road trip, family drama, parents with interesting and complex issues, and the notion of Alexander being a perpetual jinx. On top of that, Alexander will have two siblings, down one from the 2014 adaption. It appears that they will have names that differ from the ones used in the 2014 film. No word on if Alexander's luck will take a turn for the better, but it sounds like a pretty interesting take on the material.

Who is starring in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day?

Per The Hollywood Reporter, Eva Longoria of "Desperate Housewives" fame has signed on to play Alexander's mother, who is a frustrated travel writer. Alexander's mom is seeking something, anything, that will bring back her love of writing about trotting the globe  — which seems to be a likely impetus for the family's road trip. According to Deadline, Jesse Garcia of "Flamin' Hot" will appear as Alexander's father, a vegan chef who refuses to embrace tradition to compromise his values. That means occasionally missing out on certain job opportunities. Interestingly, Jesse Garcia also appeared in the 2014 version of "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" as Dwayne. 

But who will play Alexander himself? The titular role will go to Thom Nemer, who you may recognize as Carlo from the FX series "Snowfall." George Lopez had signed on for the film early in its pre-production, but in April 2023, he dropped out over scheduling issues, handing off the role of Alexander's cynical, motorcycle-riding grandfather to comedian Cheech Marin. On March 8, 2023, it was reported that Paulina Chavez ("The Winx Saga") will portray Alexander's teenage sister, Mia, and Rose Portillo ("Zoot Suit") will play Alexander's paternal grandmother, Lidia. Plus, Harvey Guillén of "What We Do in the Shadows" fame will play a healer named Claudio, and Cristo Fernández of "Ted Lasso" will portray a cook named Chavo.

Who is directing and producing Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day?

Deadline reports that Marvin Lemus has been tapped to direct "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day." Lemus is best known for "Gentefied," an 11-episode drama he co-created, directed, acted as showrunner for, and wrote for Netflix. He has also directed an episode apiece of "The Chi" and "Ultra Violet and Black Scorpion." 

Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, and Lisa Henson will co-produce the film for Disney through the Jim Henson Company. Also co-producing is Dan Cohen of 21 Laps, per the Hollywood Reporter. All three also co-produced the 2014 version of "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day." Jim Henson Company needs no introduction, as Lisa Henson is the late Muppet king Jim Henson's daughter. 21 Laps is the production company that lies behind "Stranger Things" and "Deadpool 3." Emily Morris will act as executive producer, with Blanca Lista representing Jim Henson Company.

Who wrote Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day?

Per Deadline, the "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" reboot has been adapted from Judith Viorst's picture book by Matt Lopez. Lopez has a ton of Disney-based credits under his belt and has made a name for himself by re-crafting old House of Mouse properties into fresh takes for modern audiences to consume. His writing credits include the early Dwayne Johnson big-screen family action epic "Race to Witch Mountain" and Nicolas Cage's "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," as well as 2022's HBO Max edition of "Father of the Bride," which also featured an all-star Latino cast. 

Additionally, Lopez executive produced and wrote episodes for ABC's short-lived nighttime soap "Promised Land" and Universal Channel's "Gone," which aired nationwide on WGN. He's also co-executive producing "The Hurt Unit," an ABC drama pilot about mobile emergency rooms and the doctors and nurses who work in them.