Fox Envisions Comic Strip THE FAMILY CIRCUS as a Live-Action Franchise

     October 8, 2010


20th Century Fox and Walden Media have teamed to buy the rights to the single panel comic The Family Circus with the intent to make a live-action feature film.  Fox has hired Bob Hilgenberg and Rob Muir — two of the six writers behind Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue (!) — to pen the adaptation.  According to Deadline, the rights were a hot item amongst the studios, each dreaming of a “multiple quadrant family franchise.”

I am not the target audience for the strip, which is fine.  But creator Bil Keane’s work is impressive by sheer force of longevity.  First publised in 1960, The Family Circus enters its sixth decade as the most widely syndicated comic strip in the world.  A conservative estimate tallies over 15,000 cute things that kids have said.  Hit the jump for a bit more info on the comic, plus a few choice selections from the funny pages.

the_family_circus_logoCourtesy of Wikipedia:

The Family Circus (originally The Family Circle) is a syndicated comic strip created and written by cartoonist Bil Keane and inked/colored by his son, Jeff Keane. The strip generally uses a single captioned panel with a round border, hence the original name of the series, which was changed following objections from Family Circle, the magazine of the same name. The series debuted on February 29 – Leap Year Day – in 1960, and has been in continuous production ever since. According to publisher King Features Syndicate, it is the most widely syndicated cartoon panel in the world, appearing in 1,500 newspapers. Compilations of Family Circus comic strips have sold over thirteen million copies worldwide.


The central characters of the Family Circus are a family whose surname is rarely mentioned. The parents, Bil and Thelma (Thel), are modeled after the author and his wife, Thelma Carne Keane. Their four children, Billy, Dolly, Jeffy, and P.J., are fictionalized composites of the Keanes’ five children. With the exception of P.J., the characters have not aged appreciably during the run of the strip.






Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go get a vasectomy.

  • sense11

    WORST IDEA EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ye Xu
  • MCP

    Ya, pretty bad one.
    But it’s Fox so it makes sense.
    And I will leave you with this from the movie Go.

    “Claire: So, what do you have against The Family Circus?
    Todd: Okay. You sit down and read your paper, and you’re enjoying your entire two-page comics spread. Right? And then there’s the Family fucking Circus, bottom right-hand corner, just waiting to suck.”

    end of line

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  • Dam

    I second Sense11, the Worst Idea Ever. One frame of the Family Circus was unbearable. Imagine those pathetically wholesome freaks coming at you 30 frames a second. Nightmare.

  • Collin V.

    goddamn you hollywood

    • Vice President of Showbiz

      Ha. It’s a good thing you people actually don’t have vision and imaginations. More work for those of us who do! MAYBE, the creative team behind this film know a little more about film making and how to flip a simple comic into a big league comedy than you do;) If you were a studio wouldn’t you welcome the kind attention a title like this is bringing? Wait, probably not, you’d be too busy trying to write “clever”, nasty one-sided comments and miss your carrers completely.

      • Gesg

        I’m pretty sure the “creative team” would have to be replaced fairly often, what with the hanging themselves and all…
        Knowledge of how to do this would drive men into madness

  • Collin V.

    goddamn you hollywood

  • Yeomer

    Since the comic’s target audiance consists of toddlers and Alzheimer patients (not a demographic known to buy movie tickets), I have to wonder who they think is gonna pay to see a FC movie.

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