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SYFY WIRE Dr. seuss

Avengers beware, the latest cinematic universe is coming from the pages of Dr. Seuss

By Jacob Oller
The Cat in the Hat

Oh, the places that Oh, the Places You’ll Go! will go! Specifically, the big screen for the first time. The classic Dr. Seuss-penned graduation text is getting the film treatment as part of a new universe of movies from Warner Animation Group.

Vanity Fair reports that Oh, the Places You’ll Go! will be adapted into a film (from producer J.J. Abrams, no less) alongside two movies about The Cat in the Hat. First is a main animated version, simply called The Cat in the Hat, and the second is a spin-off about the iconic label-wearing Thing One and Thing Two. These plans started back in 2018, but have since solidified. And yes, they're meant to become a “Seuss universe,” so Avengers be warned.

“For the first time we’re not just doing one film for one book. We’re going to franchise-build beyond the initial story of these books and find out what happens next,” said Susan Brandt, president of Dr. Seuss Enterprises. “I call it stretching the fabric. How far can it go, to go a little bit deeper with our characters.”

The Cat in the Hat comes first, with its creative team solidified — directors Erica Rivinoja and Art Hernandez — and a release set for 2024. Then in 2026 comes Thing One and Thing Two, followed by Oh, the Places You’ll Go! in 2027. Don't expect the characters, though, to cross over into other films — it won't be that kind of cinematic universe.

The Cat in the Hat will not meet the boy in Oh, the Places You’ll Go, nor would the Things go visit the Lorax,” Brandt said. “While it will all feel like part of the Seuss universe, they live in their worlds, and they’re not necessarily going to interact in the same films.”

“Our goal would be to mirror the way Ted did his portfolio of books,” she said. “The color palettes are different, the architecture is different, but you look at those and go, ‘That’s a Dr. Seuss book.’ If we properly translate Ted’s characters and his messaging, each one creates a different story, but it’s still Seuss DNA. That’s what we’re going to go try to do.”

The Cat in the Hat will be a bit more "vulnerable" than in, say, the Mike Myers film, and Oh, the Places You’ll Go! will include bits on "loneliness" and "developing resilience." Not quite dark-and-gritty, but close enough in Seuss terms. The Thing One and Thing Two spin-off will have more of the goofy nature fans may expect from these children's books.

“All ages delight in the wackiness, the carefreeness, the silliness that are the Things,” Brandt said. “We don’t know where they come from. They’re just free spirits, man. They run about, they thump and they bump, and they have all sorts of fun.”

The cinematic "Seuss Universe" kicks off in 2024.

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