‘Where’s Waldo?’ Movie in the Pipeline

MGM has announced plans for a movie based on ‘Where’s Waldo?,’ the book series in which readers have to find the bobblehat-wearing, stripey-jumpered, hidden-in-plain-sight Waldo. Damn, just imagine the extras bill for this thing.

The movie studio announced Monday it had secured feature rights to turn Waldo into a live-action character in a family adventure movie.

Yes, live-action. I’ve no idea what the approach will be for this – the books are surely unfilmable in their current form? – but I’m mildly intrigued. MGM also revealed no writer has been hired yet for the screenplay. Storyline and Waldo? It may seem bizarre, though there has already been an animated TV series.

The ‘Where’s Waldo?’ books first appeared in 1987, when I was a wee nipper in grade school. I still vividly recall hours of frustration trying to find that jerk Waldo (or Wally, as he is known in the UK). Back when he was drawing the books, Waldo’s creator Martin Handford would sometimes take up to eight weeks to draw a two-page sketch of ‘Waldo’ and the hundreds of characters surrounding him.

Martin Handford has since gone on to sell more than 55 million books in 38 countries, and the character undoubtedly has the kind of universal appeal that fares well at the box office (see also: Mr Bean). Handford sold global rights to ‘Where’s Waldo?’ for a cool $4 million in 2007.

‘Waldo’ apps are now also big on the iPhone and iPad. Producer/distributor Classic Media has sold more than 4.6 million apps.