Fifty years ago, a poor and humble woodcutter in Denmark picked up a block of wood and carved it into a rather ugly doll to give to his daughter, for whom he could not afford to buy a Christmas present. Flash forward to 2013, and DreamWorks now owns the intellectual property rights to the Good Luck Trolls, and has set millions of dollars aside to give them their own family movie – the first in a potential franchise – called Trolls.
In reality, the Good Luck Trolls got their vibrantly colored hair when creator Thomas Dam eventually set up a number of factories at which plastic versions of the original dolls were created and sold all over Europe, but that probably isn’t the version of the story that Trolls will explore. Nonetheless, the first hint at the storyline suggests that the film will be all about the trolls earning their colors.
A press release announced that Trolls will be directed by Mike Mitchell, from a screenplay written by Erica Rivinoja. Mitchell’s career so far has been oriented towards family adventure, having directed Shrek Forever After, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, Sky High and Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo. Actually, that last one may not be a family adventure.
Mitchell’s creative merits as a director might be a matter of debate, but Shrek Forever After was an undeniable success at the box office, so it’s understandable that DreamWorks would tap him to direct this first instalment of their planned franchise. Rivinoja is a slightly more unusual choice for screenwriter, considering that she’s best known for her lengthy stint as a staff writer on the very adult-oriented comedy show South Park - but DreamWorks CCO Bill Damaschke cited her “amazing sense of comedy” as the reason for hiring her to write the script.
Here’s the full quote from Damaschke:
“Mike and Erica are the perfect team to reimagine this film. Mike’s pedigree in shaping stories with already beloved characters is second to none, and Erica’s amazing sense of comedy will introduce the Trolls to a new generation of fans while keeping the spirit and appeal audiences have loved for years.”
Good Luck Trolls arrived at their main resurgence of popularity in the nineties, so it’s a little surprising to see DreamWorks jumping onto the brand and making franchise plans so eagerly. Having said that, the inherent opportunities for toy line tie-ins are motivation enough by themselves to push this film into production, even if audiences aren’t exactly clamoring for a troll doll movie right now.
Obviously this film is going to be marketed to a pretty young demographic, but do any Screen Rant readers have a nostalgic enthusiasm for seeing the Good Luck Trolls brought to life on the big screen?
Trolls will open in theaters on November 4, 2016.