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"Waldo" finds studio home at Universal
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The answer to "Where's Waldo?" is Universal.
The studio has picked up the movie rights to the popular children's book series from Classic Media with the aim of making a live-action family film.
Created by illustrator Martin Handford, the books featured Waldo, dressed in a red-and-white shirt, wearing glasses and carrying a walking stick, as he popped up in crowded full-page scenes.
The books began life in the late 1980s in the United Kingdom, where the protagonist is called Wally, before becoming a worldwide sensation. The books became more thematically complex over the years, with Waldo traveling through time or landing in supernatural settings, and a nemesis was introduced, an anti-Waldo named Odlaw.
The film project will be produced by Chris Meledandri's Illumination Entertainment. The material previously was set up at Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon, where John Schultz planned to direct a script that had been worked on by screenwriters Adam Rifkin, Adam Cooper and Bill Collage.
The plot of that project revolved around a 30-year-old Waldo who travels through time after accidentally activating a malfunctioning travel machine.
Paramount recently ended its involvement in the project, and the rights to "Waldo" have been bouncing around, with several studios in the running. Meledandri spearheaded the push to bring it to Universal, where Illumination, which has an animation bent, is based.
(Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters)
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