Universal, Illumination working on new version of ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas’

By Daniel Levine,

One of the most well-known Dr. Seuss characters is heading back to the big screen. Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment are working on a new version of How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

Variety reports that Pete Candeland has been tapped to direct, with Illumination Entertainment CEO Chris Meledandri as producer. Audrey Geisel will be the executive producer.

Illumination’s The Grinch would be the third adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ classic 1957 book. The first was the equally revered 1966 TV adaptation by Chuck Jones that continues to air during the holidays to this day. The other is the 2000 live action film that starred Jim Carrey as the Grinch. Still, the film grossed $260 million domestically and began the relationship between Universal and the Theodor Geisel estate, notes The Hollywood Reporter. That was followed up with the flop The Cat In The Hat, which only grossed $101 million, which ended any plans for more live action Seuss films.

Meledandri also has a history with Seuss. While at Blue Sky, he oversaw the 2008 Fox hit Horton Hears A Who!, and Illumination also produced last year’s blockbuster THe Lorax, which made $348 million worldwide.

Variety’s sources say that the studio plans to stick closer to the book than they did with Horton or Lorax, since the book has a stronger three-act structure. It will also be enough to distinguish it from Carrey’s film.

There is no writer attached to the project yet. It will be Candeland’s first time as a director, althoguh he does have a strong animation background.

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