〉 A rebooted Danger Mouse series premiered last month, and now producers are eyeing a big screen debut for the world’s greatest–and tiniest–secret agent
He’s the strongest, he’s the quickest, he’s the best, and now he’s headed to the big screen. An animated DANGER MOUSE feature has been set up at StudioCanal and Sony Pictures Animation. The film is being produced by Original Film and Fremantle Media. Neal Mortiz will produce with Toby Ascher overseeing for Original.
While details on the plot are still being kept under wraps, sources say that the movie will offer clues to the origins of the world’s greatest secret agent–an agent so secret that his codename has a codename–and who just so happens to be a mouse living underneath MI6 headquarters.
The British cartoon series, created by Brian Cosgrove and Mark Hall, originally ran from 1981 to 1992. The show intended to serve as a send-up of more serious British cold war spy fiction, namely James Bond and Danger Man. Danger Mouse, along with his hamster sidekick Ernest Penfold, travels the globe solving mystery, fighting crime, and stopping villains like the mad scientist wolf Doctor Augustus P. Crumhorn III.
After years of rumors, the updated Danger Mouse reboot aired its first episode just last month on CBBC, with original creator Cosgrove serving as a creating consultant, and featuring the voices of John Oliver, Lena Headly and Kevin Eldon as the eponymous mouse. In conjunction with the reboot, it now appears that producers are bringing Danger Mouse to the movies.
Despite the fact that the reboot launched only weeks ago, it should come as no surprise that a feature adaptation of Danger Mouse is already in the works. Other popular cartoon characters who have made the jump to the big screen have proven to be slam dunk successes, given their massive built-in audiences and international appeal. This year’s The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water grossed over $300 million worldwide, while even a lesser-known figure like Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius took in over $100 million against a $30 million budget. And earlier this year, Paddington, based on the classic Paddington Bear books–another distinctly British series–became the highest grossing non-Hollywood produced family film in history with over $200 million in global receipts. Numbers like that seem to have caught the attention of Mortiz and Sony–although such savvy producers must be keenly aware that a Peabody and Sherman debacle is always a risk.
The development of a feature following the reboot of a beloved cartoon character is becoming a trend in Hollywood. Nickelodeon is creating a channel dedicated to their 90’s animated shows, and here at the Tracking Board we broke the news that, indeed, an Avenger’s-style 90s Nick-Toons film is in the works. Again, just last week, we broke news that Sony Pictures Animation was developing an animated Ghostbusters feature in an effort to ride the wave of popularity generated by that franchise’s current reboot. And just yesterday, sources confirmed to The Tracking Board that a Dennis the Menace remake is in the works as well.
With the new Danger Mouse series already positioned to draw in old viewers and new, producers of the film are now seeking a British-based writer with a deep familiarity of the character to tackle the script. The ideal choice would be a screenwriter who can honor the tradition of the franchise, while still updating the character enough to meet the expectations of his newest–and youngest–fans.
Josh Lyons | Staff Writer