Every week, there's at least one story from the trades that makes you very worried about the future of film. Sometimes it's an ill-conceived remake of a beloved classic, but often it's just a really weak concept like "Stretch Armstrong" or "Candyland." This week's story falls into the latter category, as Variety reports that Universal has acquired the rights to the "Where's Waldo?" series. Several studios craved the property, but Uni emerged from the bidding triumphant.
You remember Martin Handford's "Where's Waldo" books, of course. They're filled with dizzying, full page illustrations of very detailed crowd scenes that make you go cross-eyed looking for Waldo and his distinctive bobble hat. There is never any text or story to go along with it; each page is simply a mind game in which you have to locate Waldo in whatever bizarre scene he's wandered into. They were always causing a lot of giggles in my school, as there were always very risque things going on around Waldo. As we all know, nothing makes kids laugh more than cartoon nudity.
It's not immediately clear how this kind of property could be adapted into a movie, but Uni's plans are to turn it into "a live action family picture" that will have "strong global appeal." Perhaps they'll turn it into a kid-friendly version of "Hard Target," with hordes of people hunting for Waldo in exotic locations. Now that might be worth seeing ... especially if they keep the cartoonish nudity.
MTV readers, did you ever find Waldo? Do you think it's possible to make a "Waldo" movie? Is this just one of the silliest ideas you've heard since "Battleship: The Movie"?