(Photo: REUTERS / Jean-Paul Pelissier)
Edward Scissorhands, Mad Hatter, Willy Wonka, Captain Jack Sparrow, Rango – and now Dr. Seuss?
Adding to his ever-growing list of odd but endearing roles, actor Johnny Depp may soon tackle a new film centered on the life of children’s author and illustrator Dr. Seuss, born Theodor Seuss Geisel.
The Hollywood Reporter recently revealed that Depp would be producing the upcoming live-action movie alongside Illumination Entertainment and Infinitum Nihil, with a high possibility of starring in the film himself – not out of step from his usual quirky roles.
Though producers stated that the film would unlikely follow the CGI-style of “Alice in Wonderland,” they were not ruling out animation.
The film will be distributed by Universal Pictures and Keith Bunin, writer of the TV series “In Treatment,” has been brought on to write the screenplay.
Depp will be co-producing with Infinitum Nihil partner Christi Dembrowski, Illumination’s Christopher Meledandri and David Kennedy, according to HR.
Universal Studios and Illumination Entertainment have already familiarized themselves with Dr. Seuss, as they joined hands to produce the upcoming three-dimensional CGI film “The Lorax,” based on one of Geisel’s books published in 1971.
The book, said to be a commentary on the industrialized society and its threat to nature, follows the story of Lorax, a creature who speaks for the trees, and the evil and greedy Once-ler, a shop owner who wants to chop all the trees down and use the foliage to start a garment shop.
Targeted for a March 2, 2012, release – the 108th anniversary of the Geisel’s birthday – cast members include Danny DeVito, Zac Efron, Ed Helms, Rob Riggle, Betty White and Taylor Swift.
Other notable Dr. Seuss tales that have been adapted to film include How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, The Cat in the Hat and Horton Hears a Who!.
Four television series have also been adapted from Geisel’s pieces as well.
Having written more than 60 books over the course of his career, several of Geisel’s work have been part of the bestselling children’s books of all time, including Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.
His books have sold more than 222 million copies and have been translated into more than 15 languages.
In addition to illustrating and writing children’s books, Geisel worked as an advertising illustrator for companies like Flit and Standard Oil. He was a political cartoonist for PM, a New York City newspaper, and he won an Academy Award for “Design for Death,” a documentary which he co-wrote with his wife.
With a colorful resume like Geisel’s, there’s no doubt that his upcoming biopic will be one to go down in the books.
An official title has not yet been released for the film.