It's been over a year since we first reported that a Where's Waldo? movie was being made, and we're fairly sure that a lot of people hoped that this project would be one that simply fell into development limbo, never to return.
After all, with board games and toys like Monopoly, Stretch Armstrong, Risk and Battleship also getting the movie treatment, people have been pretty vocal about the fact that this latest Hollywood trend is one they wouldn't mind seeing vanish before it even fully begins....Especially when you're talking about a feature film based on a children's picture book.
Well, if you were hoping never to see Where's Waldo? on the big screen, we're sorry to disappoint you: MGM (which has wormed its out of a major bankruptcy in the last year), is indeed moving forward with the film adaptation of Martin Handford and Classic Media's bestselling picture book series (55 million copies sold worldwide and counting - not to mention millions of video games and smartphone apps).
The film is (understandably) being envisioned as a family-friendly adventure, which MGM Motion Pictures president Jonathan Glickman described as such:
"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,"
Aside from the logical and obvious move of marketing the adaptation of a children's book series to a family demographic, there is one question that looms large over this whole project: what do you make a Where's Waldo? movie about?
It's not hard to cook up a plot whose themes and ideas could play upon the Waldo premise (finding oneself mentally, emotionally, spiritually, etc., seems like an obvious metaphor). However, how do you make a film that honors what the game of Waldo was all about, instead of making a hollow and generic film that is only related to the brand in shallow, contrived ways?
One idea (which seems pretty smart, if I'm being honest) would be to use the actual canvas of film to create a sort of "Where's Waldo?" visual game for the viewing audience. Meaning: lots a of shots and sequences packed with visual gags and Easter-eggs that viewers could discover upon repeated viewing of the film. Another idea would be having the master-of-subterfuge himself (Waldo) camaflouged in many shots, again tasking the viewers to interact with the film in a uniquely meta way.
For now official details are sparse, but there's no doubt that we'll be learning more as the film rolls into development - including the plot, characters, and director who will be bringing it all to life.
We'll keep you updated on Where's Waldo? as we hear more.