Filming has begun on Revolution Studios' Christmas with the Kranks, a comedy directed by Revolution Studios Founder Joe Roth and starring Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis and Dan Aykroyd, it was announced today. The film, which is based on the John Grisham best seller "Skipping Christmas," will be released by Columbia Pictures on November 24, 2004.

The screenplay for Christmas with the Kranks was written by Chris Columbus, the director of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," "Mrs. Doubtfire," "Home Alone" and "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York." Columbus is also producing the film for Revolution Studios with his partners at 1492 Pictures, Michael Barnathan and Mark Radcliffe ("Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," "Cheaper by the Dozen," "Mrs. Doubtfire"). Revolution Studios' Charles Newirth ("Peter Pan," "Maid in Manhattan," "America's Sweethearts") is serving as executive producer, along with Bruce A. Block ("Something's Gotta Give," "America's Sweetheart's," "What Women Want").

In "Christmas with the Kranks," Tim Allen plays Luther Krank, a man who decides to skip Christmas and all the surrounding trappings and go on a vacation with his wife Nora (Curtis) instead. But when his daughter decides at the last minute to come home for the holiday, he is forced to put Christmas back together.

"I worked with Chris on the first two 'Home Alone' films and with Tim on 'The Santa Clause,' all of which were tremendously enjoyable and successful experiences," said Roth. "I am delighted to be reuniting with them and working with Jamie Lee Curtis, one of our most versatile and gifted performers, on this wonderful and funny story."

Tim Allen most recently starred in "The Santa Clause 2," the sequel to the smash hit "The Santa Clause." His upcoming projects include "In the Pink" for Revolution Studios and "The Shaggy Dog." His previous film credits include "Big Trouble," "Joe Somebody," "Galaxy Quest" and "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2." He also starred in the television series "Home Improvement," which ran from 1991 - 1999, and for which he received 5 Golden Globe nominations and won 1 Golden Globe Award.

Jamie Lee Curtis most recently appeared in the successful comedy "Freaky Friday." Curtis' other film credits include "The Tailor of Panama," "Fierce Creatures," "True Lies," for which she won a Golden Globe Award, "A Fish called Wanda" and "Halloween."

Dan Aykroyd was most recently seen in the hit comedy "50 First Dates" alongside Adam Sandler. His other film credits include "Grosse Pointe Blank," "Celtic Pride," "Sneakers," "My Girl," "Driving Miss Daisy," for which he received an Academy Award nomination, "Ghost Busters" and "Trading Places." Aykroyd also starred in and wrote for Saturday Night Live, for which he received 3 Emmy nominations and won one Emmy Award.

The cast is rounded out by Erik Per Sullivan (television's Malcolm in the Middle, "Finding Nemo," "Unfaithful"), Cheech Marin ("Once Upon a Time in Mexico," "Spy Kids," "Tin Cup"), Jake Busey ("Identity," "Enemy of the State," "Starship Troopers") and M. Emmet Walsh ("Snow Dogs," "My Best Friend's Wedding," "Blade Runner").

Brian B.