Tick another literary legend from the To Do list that lives in Johnny Depp’s head: having played Peter Pan pen wrangler JM Barrie in Finding Neverland, the actor/producer is now looking to bring Dr Seuss to life in a new live-action biopic.
Seuss – real name Theodor Geisel – got his creative start drawing adverts and comic strips before graduating to political cartoons during World War II. He then switched to his distinctive style of children’s books, pumping out the likes of Oh, The Places You’ll Go!, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Horton Hears a Who! and The Cat in the Hat. His work has also become a lucrative source of blockbusters for various studios.
But though Universal and Despicable Me production company Illumination Entertainment are behind the new movie, don’t go expecting too much in the way of CG tinkering this time. That said, given Seuss’ style and visual imagination, there’s always a chance it could show up. We’re just crossing our fingers no one tries to get Mike Myers back in his awful Cat suit.
The connection between the companies and the Geisel estate is already strong, since Illumination is busy working on a CG cartoon version of Seuss tale The Lorax. Depp has agreed to co-produce the eventual biopic via his Infinitum Nihil company and Keith Bunin has been hired to write the script.
In related Depp/writer news, word also arrives that yet another scribe has been drafted in to craft the script for the actor’s long-gestating adaptation of Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man. After Jerry Stahl wrote the earliest versions, David Koepp was recently approached to work on the screenplay. But he and director Rob Marshall apparently didn’t see eye-to-eye on the vision for the movie, so now Shattered Glass writer/director and in-demand script doctor Billy Ray is taking on the job. It’ll be his responsibility to crank out a new take on private eye/drunkard Nick Charles (Depp) and his wife Nora as they track down a murderer…