I would love nothing more than for Don Sobol’s Encyclopedia Brown mystery series to be turned into a fantastic movie franchise, which is exactly what Warner Bros is trying to do. They are securing the rights to the series in order to draw in young viewers with a big movie about Leroy “Encyclopedia” Brown, arguably the world’s most gifted boy detective.
When I was a kid I thought being a detective – specifically being a child detective – was a viable career option, and I had the magnifying glass to prove it. Sadly, very few cases came my way.
It was most disappointing.
Encyclopedia Brown, however, ran a thriving trade, and case after case seemed to fall in his lap. I was so jealous. My dad was not the police chief of Idaville who liked to talk about his unsolveds at the dinner table, so that could have been a factor. WHAT I WOULDN’T HAVE GIVEN TO EARN 25 CENTS A DAY PLUS EXPENSES TRICKING BULLIES AND EXPOSING SCAMS!
The Encylopedia Brown books debuted in 1963, and Sobol continued to write 28 of them until 2012, when he passed away. Each book contains 10 or so short mysteries with enough clues sprinkled throughout the story for the aspiring detective-reader to figure out the mystery along with Brown — supposedly. I never could. I never knew enough obscure facts to catch the bad guys.
But that was the beauty of it—the interactive nature of the story and the quick turn-around of the cases. How will that be captured on the big screen? HBO made a TV series out of it in 1989 and Warner Bros tried to get an adaptation going with Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn during the 80s, but not much has panned out.
Is Encyclopedia—like his nickname suggests—meant to live within the pages of a book? Or will he translate beautifully to the big screen like Sherlock and The Hardy Boys?
Other hopeful movies in the making, here.