Over the past few years, Hollywood’s main focus seemed to be on a more mainstream, commercialized level with movies based on toys (more specifically, action figures), with film franchises like Transformers and G.I Joe bringing inanimate objects to action packed life.
Following a similar fashion board games are becoming another target for studios, with adaptations of Battleship, Monopoly, Risk, and Candyland quickly materializing. Well, add one more icon to that list as MGM has plans for a live-action movie based on Where’s Waldo, an idea we were hoping gets even more lost than the character from the popular children’s book.
Now of course this will be a more family friendly adventure, but is this really something everyone’s just dying to see? Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there’s a few (and I stress, few) individuals who would love to see a movie about a guy with a red and white striped sweater who constantly gets lost (riveting I know), but honestly, can there really be a strong enough story to make this concept work?
There’s not much to work with regarding the source material, other than the characters and scenery, but I guess they could always go the “man who’s been separated from his family as a boy and goes on an adventure to find them” route that has been rumored for a while. However, it’s one of those plots that feels like a cop-out, that without the iconic spectacle-wearing character, it would just be a generic movie. In order for it to be done right, there would need to be an abundant amount of little hints and Easter eggs as well as inside jokes that aren’t afraid to poke fun at itself, maybe even a few “breaking the fourth wall” moments to get the audience involved with the light-hearted premise.
All in all, this is more proof of the lack of originality in Hollywood because, again, most of the time when we are given a movie based on toys or board games, without all of the flair and recognizable characters; it’s just a standard movie with an interchangeable plot that can work as just a standalone movie. But, alas, my ranting won’t solve anything and, for all it’s worth, maybe this will mean we’ll finally see a movie adaptation based on the popular search and find I Spy books. Please don’t let that happen.
Here’s the MGM press release:
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.”