Seuss Cinematic Universe

A new cinematic universe is brewing.

Warner Animation Group is developing a Dr. Seuss Cinematic Universe, based on several titles from the whimsical children’s author. A back-to-basics version of The Cat in the Hat, an original sequel called Thing One and Thing Two, and an adaptation of the classic graduation gift Oh, the Places You’ll Go! are the first three projects in the works, and a relatively unknown filmmaker named J.J. Abrams will be producing the latter.

Vanity Fair broke the news about the forthcoming Seuss Cinematic Universe, which sounds like it will be more conceptual than literal. “The Cat in the Hat will not meet the boy in Oh, the Places You’ll Go, nor would the Things go visit the Lorax,” said Dr. Seuss Enterprises president Susan Brandt. “While it will all feel like part of the Seuss universe, they live in their worlds, and they’re not necessarily going to interact in the same films…Our goal would be to mirror the way [Dr. Seuss] did his portfolio of books. The color palettes are different, the architecture is different, but you look at those and go, ‘That’s a Dr. Seuss book.’ If we properly translate [his] characters and his messaging, each one creates a different story, but it’s still Seuss DNA. That’s what we’re going to go try to do.”

First up is a new animated version of The Cat in the Hat, which will attempt to wash away the bad taste of the live-action Mike Meyers version by aiming to be “more authentic to what his vision was,” according to Warner Animation Group head Allison Abatte. Filmmakers Erica Rivinoja (South Park) and Art Hernandez (Disney’s Planes) are on board as directors, while Jared Stern, who created Netflix’s Green Eggs and Ham series, is set to executive produce. The movie is aiming for a theatrical release date in 2024.

Thing One and Thing Two, centering on chaotic characters introduced in The Cat in the Hat, will follow in 2026. “All ages delight in the wackiness, the carefreeness, the silliness that are the Things,” Brandt explained. “We don’t know where they come from. They’re just free spirits, man. They run about, they thump and they bump, and they have all sorts of fun.”

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, which will be more of a stand-alone story based on the book about growing up and moving into new stages in life, is hoping to arrive in 2027, with Abrams and Bad Robot’s head of motion pictures Hannah Minghella producing. This will be Abrams’ first animated project, and it’s unclear if he’ll be involved with future Seuss Cinematic Universe movies or shows.

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