“Sesame Street” celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2009, so, in many ways, the fact that a movie version of the popular kids program is in the works probably shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Of course, there’ve been individual character movies like 1985’s “Follow That Bird” and 1999’s “The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland,” but director Shawn Levy (“Real Steel“) and his 21 Laps banner, along with fellow producers Michael Aguilar, Mark Gordon and Film 360‘s Guymon Casady, want to produce an adaptation of the entire show.
Familiar to almost everyone who has ever been a child, certainly in the U.S., “Sesame Street” is a mixture of animation, short films and sketches and songs performed by a cast of puppets and guest stars, all intended to amuse and educate children while offering parents or caregivers a much-needed break from chasing their kids around the house. But just how longtime “Sesame Street” writer Joey Mazzarino plans to adapt Jim Henson’s puppet creations Big Bird, Bert and Ernie, Grover, Telly, Oscar the Grouch, Cookie Monster and Elmo into a feature-length story is anyone’s guess, though we’d hope that Sesame Workshop, the company behind the TV show that will likely also produce the movie, has already provided a few ideas.
No word yet on when production is expected to begin. There’s no doubt that Levy and 20th Century Fox are trying to pull off the same kind of welcome nostalgia that James Bobin‘s “The Muppets” created last year, and we’re hopeful they’ll be able to accomplish it. If they do, they’ll have a potential family film franchise for years to come. [THR]