Typically, when you hear the news that another Dr. Seuss movie may come to the big screen, you immediately begin to worry that a major piece of your childhood is about to get ruined again. (We did not like you, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Cat in the Hat. We did not like you and that is that.) This news, however, will have even the most devoted Dr. Seuss fans rhyming in delight.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Johnny Depp will produce, and possibly star in, a live-action film about the life of Theodor Geisel. Or, as we all know him, the late, great Dr. Seuss. The project is being developed by Illumination Entertainment (which is currently in post-production on The Lorax) and Depp’s production company Infinitum Nihil. (EW reached out to Depp’s reps who were not immediately available for comment.)
How much do we love this idea? Let us count the ways. (Circus McGurkis 1, 2, 3!) Not only has Depp played a classic children’s author before (he was Peter Pan scribe J.M. Barrie in the Oscar-nominated Finding Neverland), but he and Dr. Seuss are a little bit like kindred spirits: Both have created iconic characters and both have brought twisty, colorful worlds to life with their craft. Heck, even Depp himself speaks and looks like a Dr. Seuss creation at times.
And while it’s always fun to watch Depp play against a kooky backdrop, I’m hoping producers stick to their word that, as THR reports, “The film is unlikely to take the fantastical CGI-coated style of Alice in Wonderland.” That’s good news since, well, Alice in Wonderland wasn’t good. But also, the life Theodor Geisel is a fascinating story in and of itself. (For instance, as a college student, Geisel violated the laws of prohibition and began creating his cartoons under the guise of Seuss, his middle name and his mother’s maiden name.) Why overshadow his story with psychedelic CGI?
If anyone could properly pay tribute to Geisel (who passed away 20 years ago at the age of 87 from throat cancer) and the beloved, timeless Dr. Seuss, it’s Depp. The star has made certain that the legacy of other great American writers carries on (he’ll channel his friend Hunter S. Thompson once more for the upcoming adaptation of The Rum Diary), and I have no doubt he’ll do it again for Dr. Seuss. He’ll do it again, and that’s the truth. (Sorry, PopWatchers, it’s impossible not to!)
What do you think of Johnny Depp, recent controversy aside, possibly playing the legendary, best-selling children’s book author and animator Dr. Seuss for a live-action film? Producers told THR they weren’t “ruling out animated bells and whistles,” but do you think the movie would be better as a simple biopic? Share in the comments section below! Please feel free to make them rhyme, that is, of course, if you have the time.