DreamWorks Animation has obtained the rights to Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants book series, with plans to pursue a feature film adaptation for the big screen, the studio announced Thursday.
DWA development executive Damon Ross is overseeing the project at the studio.
The Captain Underpants book series tells the story of two mischievous kids, George Beard and Harold Hutchins, who hypnotize their school principal and turn him into their comic book creation, Captain Underpants.
“This is a joyous day for the countless Captain Underpants fans at our studio,” said DWA chief creative officer Bill Damaschke. “We are thrilled that Dav has decided the time is right to turn his beloved property into a movie, and we look forward to bringing the greatest Waistband Warrior of all time to the big screen at DreamWorks Animation!”
“I never wanted to do a Captain Underpants movie in the past because, frankly, I worried that a movie might not be able to properly convey what I was trying to do with the books. Then I saw How To Train Your Dragon and the Kung Fu Pandamovies. I loved the subtle way that morality and personal responsibility were handled in these very funny and exciting adventures. I felt that DreamWorks Animation would be the perfect home for Captain Underpants,” added Pilkey.
Scholastic first launched the Captain Underpants book series in September 1997, and there are over 50 million Pilkey books in print in the United States alone. Eight Captain Underpants books have been published in 19 countries, and several have debuted at #1 on various best-seller lists, including the New York Times and USA Today.
Some of Pilkey’s other work has been adapted into animated TV series.
In 2005, Canadian, German and South Korean studios co-produced Dragon, a stop-action clay animation series based on his series of children’s books of the same name.
Nelvana Limited and several other studios came together in 1999 to produce The Dumb Bunnies, based on Pilkey’s original book.