Tommysaurus Rex: According to Variety, Universal Pictures has paid $1 million to preemptively option Doug TenNapel's graphic novel "Tommysaurus Rex."

"Rex" is due out this summer from Image Comics, the third-largest comics publisher in the U.S. Under the deal, TenNapel can be called upon to provide an adapted script for the novel should U be inclined to ask for it.

The project is being developed for Universal-based helmer Tom Shadyac ("Bruce Almighty"), but it's unclear if Shadyac will helm or just produce the pic, which has no scripter aboard.

"Rex" follows a young, nearly friendless boy who loses his golden retriever in a car accident. Devastated, he is sent by his father to recover on his grandfather's dairy farm, where he befriends a Tyrannosaurus rex.

Brian B.