Posted on Monday, November 7th, 2011 by Angie Han
Days after the announcement of a Jennifer Lopez-produced Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? film comes news that the similarly elusive Waldo, of the Where’s Waldo? books, is getting his own big-screen project as well. MGM has acquired the film rights to the Classic Media property, with an eye on producing a live-action “family adventure” about the character. More details after the jump.
Waldo — or Wally, as he’s known in his native U.K. — was first created in 1987 by Brit author/illustrator Martin Handford. Since then, the Where’s Waldo? books have sold over 55 million books to date in over 30 different languages, across 38 different countries. Pretty much anyone who grew up in the ’80s or ’90s will have fond memories of searching for the friendly traveler’s familiar white and red striped shirt. Waldo and his associates — which include his friends Wilma and Wendy, his dog Woof, and his archnemesis Odlaw — have also turned up in various video games and a short-lived animated series. In recent years, the franchise has moved into the digital age with over 4.6 million downloads of its iPhone/iPad gaming apps.
Classic Media will produce the picture for MGM, with co-CEO Eric Ellenbogen and Hanford’s business partner Mike Gornall executive producing. “Waldo is the most searched-for character in the world,” said Ellenbogen in a statement. “With thanks to MGM, fans everywhere will find Waldo in movie theaters with his motion picture debut.”
This isn’t Waldo’s first attempt to journey to the big screen. Both Universal and Paramount have tried in the past to develop films based on the character. Paramount’s version would’ve seen Waldo traveling not just through space but time, as he does in some of the books.
Much as I have fond memories of Waldo from my youth, I’m finding it difficult to get excited about the prospect of the movie. The character’s big claim to fame is his ability to get lost in crowds, after all, and while that works for his books, it’s not a quality I’d imagine translating well to a narrative feature.
And besides, there’s no way this new live-action version could possibly top that fake Werner Herzog reading that hit the web last year. Watch below:
Discuss: Obviously, it is now time to start fantasy-casting this project.