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The quintessential graduation gift is officially coming to the big screen in 2027. Deadline has confirmed that filmmaker Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians, In the Heights) has been tapped to direct an animated musical film adaptation of Dr. Seuss' 1990 classic: Oh, The Places You'll Go!
J.J. Abrams will produce the feature (a collaboration between Dr. Seuss Enterprises and Warner Bros. Animation Group) under his Bad Robot banner. The movie translation of Seuss' final publication prior to his death in 1991 is described as "a globetrotting animated musical following a young adventurer as they journey through the joys and heartaches, and the peaks and valleys, of life."
Hannah Minghella — current head of Bad Robot's motion pictures division and former chief of Sony's animation arm — is also on board as a producer. Warner Bros., which currently enjoys an exclusive development deal with Abrams, has been exploring a number of Seuss-inspired projects for the silver screen ever since it forged a partnership with the author's estate in 2018.
Indeed, the studio hopes to launch an entire cinematic universe based on Theodor Geisel's treasure trove of kid-friendly titles filled with memorable rhymes, illustrations, and important life lessons. Two more movies — The Cat and the Hat and a spinoff for the cat's chaos-loving companions, Thing One and Thing Two — are also in development at WB Animation and slated for release in 2024 and 2026, respectively.
“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,” Susan Brandt, president of Dr. Seuss Enterprises, told Vanity Fair last fall. “I call it stretching the fabric. How far can it go, to go a little bit deeper with our characters.”
So far, only three Seuss books have been adapted into theatrical animated features: Horton Hears a Who! (2008) from Blue Sky Studios and The Lorax (2012), and The Grinch (2018) from Illumination Entertainment. Also speaking with Vanity Fair, Minghella voiced her hope that Oh, The Places You'll Go! will end up being "a wonderful complement to the book."
"It can follow Seuss’ lead and bring the world of the book to life beyond the page,” she continued. “That’s what movies do. A film can put you on that journey experientially. It can give you the breathless sense of flight of being in that balloon or letting you hear the jubilant music of the boom-boom band. A movie has to use all the tools of filmmaking to evoke the same feeling of hope and wonder.”