MGM Picks Up Rights For A WHERE’S WALDO? Film

MGM announced today that it has acquired the film rights to the Where’s Waldo? series of books. That’s right, those books where readers had to comb through meticulous illustrations of crowds to find the skinny, red-and-white hatted titular character are being made into a movie.

(But don’t we already have a film version of Where’s Waldo? in the form of the Paranormal Activity films?)

Believe it or not, MGM is actually the third studio to take a crack at turning Where’s Waldo? into a film, following Paramount and Universal both failing to figure out how to turn the puzzle books into a coherent film story. Personally, I’m at a loss as to how the books can be transformed into a feature film. And though I’m being a bit flip about the idea, I would like to see MGM succeed, if only to see how they do it.

Here’s MGM’s press release –

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.

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About Rich Drees 7078 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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Ken Golemo
Ken Golemo
November 15, 2011 11:32 am

Good Morning Rich, I want to thank you for your articles and also for giving an objective view point to the “Where’s Waldo” dilema. I was intrigued with your statement about being at a loss on how to transform the books into a coherent film character.I started writing 4 years ago and out of a strange compulsion I wrote a long synopsis with the idea that Waldo could become a big screen character. I am also a cartoonist, not by trade but still very talented. I seem to have this unique insite into a character that is tangible in real… Read more »