Good news for anyone who likes their educational cartoons to come with a healthy dose of massive explosions, as Michael Bay is producing a live-action movie version of Nickelodeon kids show Dora The Explorer. Running from 2000 to 2014, the animated series saw young Dora partake in an array of innocent adventures with her anthropomorphic backpack and monkey pal, Boots. Unfortunately, Dora's day trips are usually ruined by a masked fox named Swiper who commits repeated acts of theft despite Dora asking him to stop on more than one occasion.
Despite its simple premise, Dora The Explorer has become an internationally successful franchise and Paramount Pictures has been working on a live-action adaptation for a number of years, with limited success. Rumors of a Michael Bay-produced Dora first began to circle in 2013 and in 2015, a script penned by Tom Wheeler was being considered, but the project eventually went quiet. Undeterred, Paramount's attempts to bring Dora to the big screen continued, and it appears as if meaningful progress is finally being made.
According to THR, the Dora The Explorer movie will indeed be produced by Michael Bay, famous for his adaptations of the Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchises. Nick Stoller has been drafted in the write the script, with a 2019 release being targeted. According to the report, the character of Dora will not be a 7 year-old as in the original TV show but a teenager who relocates to the city.
At first glance, the match-up of Bay and Dora seems an unlikely pairing to say the least. The producer/director has a reputation for gung-ho action and biblical amounts of explosions. On the other hand, Nick Stoller recently penned Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie and was a creative consultant The Lego Batman Movie, both to critical acclaim, so the script should be solid at least.
It's not easy to see what attracted Michael Bay to the Dora The Explorer project. Both the Transformers and TMNT movie franchises were critically derided and Bay in particular caught the full brunt of fans who grew up with the originals. It will be interesting to see whether or not Bay's involvement and the changes applied to the property result in a similar outcome for the filmmaker.
A cynical movie fan might suggest that Bay's involvement is due in part to his proven ability to make movies that are great at selling merchandise to kids. Transformers in particular has been accused of being a glorified toy commercial and with Dora, there are countless merchandising opportunities to exploit. Whatever the case, Dora The Explorer is a certainly a strange project for Michael Bay to be involved with and you can expect Quentin Tarantino to announce a gritty interpretation of Blue's Clues any time now.