by: Sammy Mink
Universal and DreamWorks have teamed up to bring everyone’s favorite ghost back to life (sort of) in a planned reboot of the classic franchise. Exact details for the reboot of the children’s favorite are being kept under wraps but it will be a live action feature starring the friendliest ghost around.
Back in the day, Universal created the most popular adaptation of Casper so far with the 1995 live action film, “Casper.” Before that, Casper floated around Paramount’s Famous Studios, appearing on the small screen in his own animated series. Originally created by Joe Oriolo and Seymour Reit in 1939 for a children’s book series, Casper has been a cult classic character ever since. Oriolo went on to illustrate another children’s favorite, Felix the Cat while Reit contributed to the “Popeye” and “Archie” comics.
Big names like Steven Spielberg and Christina Ricci helped the wildly popular 1995 reboot to rake in just under $290 million at the box office worldwide, opening at #1 during its first two weeks. On only a $55 million budget, you would think that a sequel would be a no brainer and, in fact, Simon Wells began writing the follow up, but after disappointing sales on the straight to video Casper movies and the hesitation of Ricci, the project was scrapped.
Even though the mid-90’s were lousy with live action/cartoon crossovers (Space Jam, anyone?), you can’t beat “Casper” when it comes to childhood nostalgia. CASPER THE FRIENDLY GHOST is sure to capitalize on that and the fact that CGI has come a long way in the last 20 (yes, 20) years.