Warner Bros. has recruited Jonathan Krisel to direct its live-action Sesame Street movie adaptation. The much-beloved educational children's series Sesame Street debuted on PBS in 1969 and aired on the publication television provider for nearly fifty years, before it moved to HBO in 2016. Sesame Street itself revolves around a collection of human and muppet characters who reside on a fictional street in New York and spend their days teaching young viewers at home about everything from the basics of the alphabet to the many different cultures and people that populate the planet.
There have been several Sesame Street TV specials produced over the years in addition to the show proper, ranging from TV movies that follow Big Bird to China, Australia and Japan to holiday specials like Elmo Saves Christmas. The Sesame Street brand has likewise made the jump to the big screen twice already, first with 1985's cross-country adventure Follow That Bird and then again with 1999's The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland. Both movies, much like the original show, were filled with celebrity cameos and included frequent musical numbers.
Variety reports that WB's Sesame Street film, like the movies and TV series before it, will be a musical of sorts. Specific plot details are being kept under lock and key for the time being, but producer Shawn Levy (Stranger Things) has teased that the movie takes "a really imaginative and entertaining" approach to the Sesame Street property. Krisel is now attached to direct the project from a script by David Guion and Michael Handelmanm, who previously wrote the Levy-directed sequel Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.
Krisel previously co-created the sketch comedy series Portlandia (which parodies life in the city of Portland, Oregon), as well as the offbeat FX comedy/drama series Baskets starring Zach Galifianakis and Louie Anderson (who co-created the show with Krisel). With a writing/directing resume that further includes TV series like Man Seeking Woman and Saturday Night Live, Krisel is a storyteller who seemingly has a knack for inventive and otherwise unconventional comedy material - something that makes him (arguably) an unexpected, yet nevertheless inspired choice to helm a modern Sesame Street movie.
If nothing else, Krisel's take on Sesame Street promises to be as playful, good-natured, cheerfully whimsical and otherwise thoughtful as the original children's TV series before it. Suffice it to say, most everyone could probably do with a little more kind and gentle entertainment featuring Big Bird, Elmo, and the rest of the Sesame Street gang in their lives right now.
We will bring you more details on the Sesame Street movie as they become available.