Oh, the places you’ll go when you’re Dr. Seuss’ “The Cat In The Hat”!
Universal Pictures is ready to start developing a 3D CG-animated feature based on Dr. Seuss’ immortal story The Cat in the Hat. Although no release date has been announced, Rob Lieber has just been named to write the script.
Illumination Entertainment’s Chris Meledandri will produce, while the good doctor’s widow, Audrey Geisel, will be the executive producer.
The Cat’s first appearance in animation was in the 1971 DePatie-Freleng Enterprises special The Cat In The Hat; he resurfaced in 1973’s Dr. Seuss On The Loose, also from DFE. This was followed by the 1982 special The Grinch Grinches The Cat In The Hat.
A live-action film about The Cat in the Hat was released by Universal in 2003. Costing about $109 million to make, it grossed just $101 million domestically and $133 million worldwide. While a live action Grinch was a big hit for Universal, Meledandri and Mrs. Geisel believe that the Cat has more than one life on the big screen.
The Cat and the Hat remains a very popular ride in Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park. It was based on Dr. Seuss’s original drawings.
“The feeling among Meledranadi, Mrs. Geisel, and Universal Films chairman Adam Fogelson and co-chairman Donna Langley is that Seuss’s works connect better in animation, prompting Universal’s decision to make this the next project,” wrote Mike Fleming of Deadline Hollywood.
When Meledandri ran Fox Animation, he and Mrs. Geisel were among the producers of the 2008 animated film Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!.
Meanwhile, Illumination is also working on a biopic of Dr. Seuss, with Johnny Depp attached to play him. The concept is that this will be a live-action film with animation. Meledandri, David Kennedy, and Infinitum Nihil’s Depp and Christi Dembrowski are the producers, with Mrs. Geisel once again the executive producer. Keith Bunin is the scriptwriter.