We’re only mid-way through the long year of kids book-to-movie makeovers, and there’s already another biggie down the pike. The Berenstain Bears have reportedly been picked by Night at the Museum director Shawn Levy as his next pick for a kiddie flick.
Levy told USA Today he’d “like the film to be un-ironic about its family connections but have a wry comedic sensibility that isn’t oblivious to the fact that they’re bears.”
Sound deep? Not really – he says the Bears’ long history (they first hit bookshelves in 1962 – although authors Stan and Jan Berenstain were writing a decade before that) give them context for both parents and kids alike, and they’ll fit well into his “wheelhouse of family-genre comedy.”
The Bears are likewise celebrating thirty years of TV appearances in 2009, with several of their early specials released on DVD for the first time. But the books are still going strong too with Mike Berenstain taking over where his dad left off (Stan passed away in 2005). Jan still plays a role, but Mike does most of the appearances on the family’s behalf and he’s said he wants to help the books evolve with their audience (at more than forty years old, he admits some of the books are dated).
Will the movie push the Bears back into the forefront, or are they already there?
The film is expected to hit theaters no sooner than late 2011.
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