There’s good news in the film world. Sanity seems to have prevailed over madness at Universal and a proposed movie about a formerly popular children’s activity book called “Where’s Waldo?” is no longer on their schedule. It seems they just couldn’t find the right approach to getting it together. But don’t start celebrating yet, there’s also bad news. The only reason that proposed adaptation of “Where’s Waldo?” isn’t going to happen is because MGM has now acquired the rights to make the movie instead. Yes, there are multiple studio heads out there that think making Where’s Waldo? is a good idea.
So, now that we’ve been reminded that there’s a movie about a guy in a striped shirt who blends into a crowd on the horizon, we must once again ask ourselves, “how in the heck are they going to stretch this concept out to feature film length?” Apparently MGM wants to make this a live action family adventure film, so making Waldo the serial killer subject of an intense manhunt is out. Probably making a movie where Waldo is paranoid and delusional and thinks that there are cameras watching him everywhere he goes is out. There just doesn’t seem to be many ways to take a concept as creepy as a grown man dressed like a cartoon character hiding from you in plain sight and make it family friendly.
MGM’s Jonathan Glickman doesn’t seem to be concerned though, he claims, “We are thrilled to be bringing the search for Waldo to the big screen. Along with our partners at Classic Media, we look forward to making a worldwide adventure that will appeal to Where’s Waldo? fans of all ages.” I will give the man all the credit in the world if he just makes a movie about a talking dog and cat or something, that has nothing to do with Waldo as a character, and then literally just has Waldo appear hidden in the background of a scene for a couple seconds. That would be the way to make an adaptation of this property that’s actually faithful to the source material, and it would lend itself to one of the weirdest marketing campaigns of all time.