We never took Dr. Seuss to be a heartthrob, but hey, we won’t complain.
Not one to shy away from playing eccentric and colorful characters, Johnny Depp will be taking on the master creator of the most beloved children’s tales, playing Dr. Seuss himself in a live-action film about the life of author and illustrator.
Depp will be producing the biopic with Illumination Entertainment and Infinitum Nihil, with Universal Pictures distributing the movie, which Keith Bunin will be writing. This won’t be the next Seuss-related film from the studios, however; Universal and Illumination’s adaptation of Seuss’s The Lorax will be in theaters in March.
It’s hard to imagine a better fit than Johnny Depp for the role of the classic storyteller. Theodor Geisel, who used the pen name Dr. Seuss, produced some of the most influential stories and messages for children and adults alike, packaged in sweet and short books with colorful illustrations that practically popped out of the page. Whether the message was about caring of the environment (The Lorax), the true spirit of the holiday—importance of family and friends over material possessions (How the Grinch Stole Christmas), or about the ups, downs, and challenges of life (Oh, the Places You’ll Go!), Geisel was able to click with readers of all ages in a timeless way.
Similarly, Depp has an affinity for completely living inside and bringing new life to beloved characters—from the Mad Hatter to Jack Sparrow to Willy Wonka. He also played Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie in Finding Neverland. NewsFeed is curious to see what he’ll do with Geisel, who got his start in the late ’20s as a magazine illustrator, later working as a political cartoonist during World War II. He started writing children’s books in the ’50s, which he did steadily up until his death from throat cancer in 1991, at the age of 87. Hopefully the film will present a rich portrait of the author and his life beyond Green Eggs and Ham.