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