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Universal Pictures’ Christmas Holiday Monster – The Grinch Returns!

The Grinch

Universal’s Christmas monster, The Grinch, is returning to theaters!

The GrinchWhen it comes to screen monsters, there’s no studio that does it better than Universal! Aside from the classic monsters such as Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Wolf Man, Universal also owns the rights to Dr. Seuss’ “How The Grinch Stole Christmas.” As any self-respecting monster fan knows, Boris Karloff of Frankenstein and The Mummy fame brought to life the iconic and universally beloved children’s story monster to life in an animated film released in 1966 and directed by Chuck Jones. Just over 50 years later, and numerous adaptations later, Universal will once again re-introduce the Christmas holiday monster to audiences in 2018.

Following the 1966 animated feature starring Boris Karloff, Universal Pictures began their relationship with the Geisel estate when the classic 1957 Dr. Seuss book was adapted into a big-budget film, directed by Ron Howard, and starring Jim Carrey in 2000. The film did well at the box office, but its dramatic reinterpretation of the original tale was not received as warmly by fans of Dr. Seuss and The Grinch. 13 years later, Universal announced that its animation division, Illumination (Despicable MeThe Lorax) would remake “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” for new audiences. The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Peter Candeland would direct, with Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri and Audrey Geisel (the widow of Dr. Seuss author Theodor Geisel) producing. It would later be announced that Michael LeSieur would adapt the book into a new screenplay for Illumination.

In April 2016 during Universal’s CinemaCon presentation, Chris Meledandri announced that Benedict Cumberbatch would follow in “the uncanny” footsteps of Boris Karloff in providing the voice work for The Grinch in the upcoming film. It was also added that Yarrow Cheney (The Secret Life of Pets) would co-direct The Grinch with Peter Candeland. No other actors have been announced as of yet for the upcoming Illumination film.

As a fan of both The Grinch, Illumination, and Benedict Cumberbatch, I believe Illumination is going to have a Despicable Me sized hit on their hands when The Grinch opens on November 9, 2018. It was originally supposed to release this November, but was ultimately pushed back which isn’t uncommon for animated films. Benedict Cumberbatch is a perfect choice for the cuddly as a cactus and charming as an eel Seuss monster. Boris Karloff, to this day, is the voice of The Grinch for so many and Cumberbatch should easily be able to introduce us to a Grinch that feels reverent of the original while also being authentically original!

The Grinch

Image courtesy of Universal/Illumination.

Given the choice between The Grinch and a seasick crocodile, I’m taking The Grinch!

“How The Grinch Stole Christmas” tells the tale of the Grinch who plots to ruin Christmas for the residents of his neighboring village of Whoville. Pete Candeland and and Yarrow Cheney are directing.

Michael LeSieur is adapting the script with Meledandri, Janet Healy and Scott Mosier producing. Audrey Geisel and Chris Renaud exec produce.

“How The Grinch Stole Christmas” opens November 9, 2018.

(Steven Biscotti – @reggiemantleIII)

About the author

Steven Biscotti

Mild mannered reporter, Steven Biscotti, has an avid interest in all things comic books, movies, and music (especially pertaining to Coldplay.) He stands 5'7" tall and prides himself on being the same height as Tom Cruise. Steven's favorite monster movie? "The Mummy (1999)."

Readers Comments (10)

  1. This is a clever post! I guess I never thought about UMU covering 2018’s release of The Grinch, but I’m very happy that’s now being done. Please continue to post news about this movie as new information comes out – after all, we’re not getting a Dark Universe movie in 2018! BTW, it’s so interesting to think that Ron Howard, director of a 2000 version of the IP, is now directing the Han Solo movie! Despite the director turmoil that has occurred, I still think it has a very good shot (at Greedo) 🙂 of potentially being the best Star Wars movie yet (either including or excluding what I anticipate will be smashing success in Star Wars: The Last Jedi). Even more interesting will be if Han Solo keeps a May 2017 release date….I’d prefer it be pushed to December 2018…but that will mess the schedule up for Mortal Engines, Aquaman, the animated Spider-Man movie, and Mary Poppins Returns….meaning there would be a chain reaction of release shifts.

    I am also a fan of The Grinch, Illumination, and Benedict Cumberbatch! And Cumberbatch is going to have a huge 2018 at the box office with The Grinch, Avengers: Infinity War, and Jungle Book: Origins (with the latter being my most anticipated picture for 2018 – in no small part due to what I expect will be the most technically advanced movie production ever released until AVATAR 2).

    • My quote “Even more interesting will be if Han Solo keeps a May 2017 release date…” should have read:

      “Even more interesting will be if Han Solo keeps a May 2018 release date…”

    • But on second thought, Jon Favreau’s The Lion King in 2019 will have a realistic chance of topping the technology/visual effects of Andy Serkis’ 2018 release of Jungle Book: Origins. As of right now, Favreau’s 2016 version of The Jungle Book is the most overall technically advanced cinematic release yet.

      But on a completely separate note, have you gotten to see Spider-Man: Homecoming yet Steven?!! I think it is the best Spider-Man movie yet…as well as one of the best MCU releases. It may be my current favorite movie of 2017…and I can see how many are saying it’s the best MCU and/or Marvel Comics film yet….although for me, Captain America: The First Avenger and Ant-Man are still the top two.

      • I actually have – I went to see “Spider-Man: Homecoming” earlier today. I would probably agree with you that it’s the best Spidey movie and I’d even put it up there with “Iron Man 1”! Especially the ending vibe with Aunt May going “What the fu—?!?” and then it going right into the credits with The Ramones playing – that reminded me a lot of the “I am Iron Man.” line and then the end credits going into Black Sabbath. Really fun!

        • If there’s one thing I’m disappointed about in regards to the huge success Spider-Man: Homecoming is having, it’s that it seems the Uncharted movie will get further and further pushed back if Tom Holland is still to be Nathan Drake. I’m not expecting it to start filming in 2017 at all. Ideally they can start filming early 2018, but that could be tough to pull off – considering that a new writer hasn’t even been revealed in the trades yet. And if you watch Tom Holland’s recent response to a question about the Uncharted movie, it seems that him being Nathan Drake is merely an idea. Wow, we went from having a killer awesome script early this year from Joe Carnahan to now where we have Drake cast but no script. I really hope Sony prioritizes making this movie happen ASAP (but only if/when the new ‘young’ take on Drake has an awesome script….or if they go back to Carnahan’s version).

    • I’m really glad you enjoyed it. I wasn’t sure at first how people would react to “The Grinch” news, but it has seemingly gone over quite well. I’m really happy you’d like to see news on “The Grinch” continued and I will definitely see that UMU continues its coverage.

      …oh, and I’m completely with you in regards to “Han Solo” – very excited for that one.

  2. Any chance UMU is going to be covering upcoming monster movies Rampage and (especially) Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom? Obviously the latter is being done by Universal, which fits the UMU brand, and interestingly, the director has basically said how they will be upping the horror elements to surprise audiences. And for Rampage, it’s also been said to have a surprising amount of horror.


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