Paramount hires David Bowers to direct the upcoming live-action Rugrats film. The franchise revival was announced last July, and its release was recently pushed to January 29, 2021. Most recently, Bowers directed the last three Diary of a Wimpy Kid films.
Created by Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó, and Paul Germain, the original Rugrats television series premiered on Nickelodeon in 1991. Centered on a one-year-old child named Tommy Pickles and his lively pals, the animated series aired 172 episodes over 9 seasons through 2004. In 1998, The Rugrats Movie marked their first animated feature film. Produced for $24 million, The Rugrats Movie earned over $140 million at the box office, thus inspiring two sequels - Rugrats in Paris: The Movie (2000) and Rugrats Go Wild (2003). For the latest installment, of which hasn’t yet received an official title, David A. Goodman will write the script. In recent years, Goodman has executive produced The Orville, American Dad!, and Family Guy.
Per THR, Paramount Players has enlisted Bowers to helm the new Rugrats film. In 1988, the British filmmaker began his feature career by serving as an inbetween artist for Robert Zemeckis’ blockbuster hit Who Framed Roger Rabbit. During the subsequent years, Bowers worked as an animator and storyboard artist, leading to his directorial debut Flushed Away in 2006, of which was co-directed by Sam Fell. Bowers then directed and co-wrote the 2009 superhero film Astro Boy. By 2011, Bowers replaced Thor Freudenthal as director for Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, the second installment of the franchise. The sequel more than tripled its $21 million budget at the box office, and was followed by Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (2012) and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (2017).
For Paramount Players, Rugrats will be the company’s seventh feature film, with four more set to release in 2019 and 2020. In July, Dora and the Lost City of Gold will release, an adaptation of the original Nickelodeon series, with Isabela Moner starring as the title character. In early 2020, Paramount Players will release Miguel Arteta’s Limited Partners, a comedy starring Tiffany Haddish, Rose Byrne, and Salma Hayek. Prior to Rugrats, Paramount Players will release the John Cena family film Playing with Fire, along with the post-apocalyptic drama Monster Problems starring Dylan O’Brien.
At this point, the Rugrats film is in the rear view mirror for many moviegoers, however, it will be pivotal to Paramount Players’ future plans. With established A-list stars headlining Limited Partners, along with the up-and-coming Moner leading the way for Dora and the Lost City of Gold, Paramount’s new divisional studio will begin the next decade with plenty of buzz.
Sources: The Hollywood Reporter