Napoleon Dynamite director Jared Hess is set to helm the family comedy Overnight At 42nd Street, which Disney has long billed as “Home Alone in a toy store.” The story follows a father and son who spend the night in a lavish toy store, which makes the comparison to Home Alone somewhat unclear since the main characters are neither home nor alone. Perhaps Disney is referring to Home Alone 2: Lost In New York, which featured its own lavish toy store—Duncan’s Toy Chest—but it was the Sticky Bandits (played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) who spent the night in the store in order to rob it, not the protagonist. So, basically Disney is that drunk, rambling guy at the party trying to describe his new screenplay by simply repeating the title of a movie that no one has seen for more than 20 years. (“It’s sort of like King Ralph. KING RALPH!”)
The project originally was going to be produced by Will Ferrell’s Gary Sanchez productions, with Ferrell set to star and Hot Tub Time Machine helmer Steve Pink prepared to direct. However, that team is no longer involved, so Hess—who recently sold his new feature at Sundance—is free to deploy his signature brand of dry asides delivered by characters who flap their mouths without moving other parts of their faces. They should fit right in at a toy store.