MGM has picked up the feature film rights to bring the children’s book series Where’s Waldo? to the big screen. For those unfamiliar with the Where’s Waldo? books, they’re impressively drawn crowd scene where the object is to find Waldo, a lanky gentleman with glasses and a distinctive red-and-white outfit. The series eventually spawned supporting characters like Wilma, Wendy, Waldo’s dog Woof, and Waldo’s arch-nemesis, Odlaw. As an adult, I’m confused why a man whose sole purpose in life is to stand around in crowds would need an arch-nemesis. However, all these elements could make for an entertaining movie.
A Where’s Waldo? film adaptation has been in development for years. Back in 2004, Nickelodeon Movies had it on their development slate, and a couple years ago Universal and animation studio Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me) were trying to get Waldo on the big screen. We’ll see if MGM has more success. Hit the jump for the press release as well as a Werner Herzog impersonator doing a hilarious “reading” of a Where’s Waldo? book.
First, the good stuff. Here’s the fake Werner Herzog narrating a Where’s Waldo? book:
LOS ANGELES, CA (November 07, 2011) – MGM’s President of Motion Picture Group Jonathan Glickman today announced that the studio has secured feature film rights to bring Classic Media’s Where’s Waldo?® to the big screen in a live-action family adventure.
Created by Martin Handford and first published in 1987, Where’s Waldo? is one of the most recognizable characters in the world and a pop-culture icon. A publishing phenomenon with more than 55 million books sold worldwide from New York to Sydney to London to Tokyo, Where’s Waldo books are available in more than thirty-eight countries and have been translated into more than thirty languages. Where’s Waldo has also been spotted in gaming, selling more than 4.6+ million Apps for iPhone and iPad.
“We are thrilled to be bringing the search for Waldo to the big screen. Along with our partners at Classic Media, we look forward to making a worldwide adventure that will appeal to Where’s Waldo? fans of all ages,” Glickman said.
“Waldo is the most searched-for character in the world,” said Eric Ellenbogen, co-CEO, Classic Media. “With thanks to MGM, fans everywhere will find Waldo in movie theaters with his motion picture debut.”
MGM’s Cassidy Lange, Vice President, Production, will oversee the project for the studio with Ellenbogen and Handford’s business partner Mike Gornall serving as Executive Producers.