Did someone say “Dr. Seuss cinematic universe”? No, no one was clamouring for that after the horrific mess 2003’s The Cat In The Hat turned out to be, but in the age of studios cashing in hard on pre-existing properties, it’s not really a surprise to hear that Warner Bros. is planning to adapt some Dr. Seuss books into a series of animated films.
The studio will team with Dr. Seuss enterprises to produce a series of animated films from his beloved catalogue, starting with The Cat In The Hat. The film is now in development and is searching for a writer. There’s no word yet on what other Seuss properties the studio will be targeting.
In a joint statement, Toby Emmerich, Warner Bros. Picture Group chairman, said:
“Our Pictures Group is home to some of the world’s most popular film franchises, and we’re honoured to add Dr. Seuss titles to that roster. With Warner Animation Group, we’ve really revitalised our feature animation activities, and this partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises will continue our move into world-class, wide-appeal animated fare”.
While Dr. Seuss Enterprises president Susan Brandt added: “For generations, Dr. Seuss has entertained and delighted children and adults alike with his whimsical tales. Our partnership with Warner Animation Group continues those efforts by reimagining the beloved characters and stories for theater-going audiences, while keeping the integrity of Dr. Seuss’ vision intact”.
There’s plenty of iconic characters the studio can look to adapt, all of which will be far more suited to current animated technology and won’t have to resort to weird prosthetics strapped to Mike Myers‘ face in the 2003 film.
One spanner in the works could be that an animated version of The Grinch with Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice is being released by Universal later this year, which might make it a little tricky for Warner Bros. to do their own version any time soon. Even so, they have a whole Seuss library to choose from, and it’s likely we’ll be seeing plenty of adaptations over the next decade.