Yeah, in a seven figure deal 20th Century Fox Animation has finally acquired the screen rights to the Dr. Seuss classic “Horton Hears a Who” after a two-year courtship.
The deal was made with Theodor Geisel’s widow, Audrey Geisel, and the deal also includes an option for a sequel based on the Seuss follow-up, “Horton Hatches an Egg.”
The last time a Seuss book was brought to the big screen was the Mike Meyers animated effort last year over at Universal, The Cat in the Hat. The live-action feature brought in slightly over $100 million at the domestic box-office, which is nothing to scoff at, but it was far less than the $200+ million brought in by the earlier efforts of How the Grinch Stole Christmas headlined by Jim Carrey.
Perhaps the move to CGI may be the right move in bringing a Seuss tale to the big screen.
It did, however, take some convincing to get Audrey Geisel to sell the rights, and the effort that moved the deal forward was when Mike DeFeo, head of Fox’s model department, built a scale model for a scene in the movie.
That move along with knowing that Blue Sky was involved got Geisel to sell the rights to the story of the elephant who incurs the wrath of everyone around him to protect a speck of dust that, he believes, contains a living being.