In America and Canada, the character’s name – which Wikipedia tells me has been changed to a name in the local language in many countries – is known as Waldo (other iterations include Walter in Germany, Charlie in France, and Valík in Czech), and Deadline report that MGM have acquired the rights to Where’s Waldo? and are planning on producing a live-action family film for the big screen.
Cue confused expression now, right? I’m as surprised as you are. Exactly how you go about making a live-action Where’s Wally? film is a little beyond me. Perhaps not just ‘how’, but also ‘why’. (Beyond the obvious monetary potential.)
A little research tells me, however, that there was in fact a thirteen-episode animated season back in the early nineties, which I had no idea even existed. So it’s not entirely unprecedented. Assumedly, though, a series of thirty-minute episodes of Where’s Wally? is a whole different kettle of fish to a feature film, and a live-action feature film at that. One big ninety-minute search for a man in a red and white top and bobble hat with blue jeans sounds a bit dull.
As you can imagine, I’m a little sceptical, as I’m sure you are too. But I’m sure MGM will be able to find someone who can turn it into a film in one way or another. All it takes is the right person with the right vision, and all of a sudden you’ve got something decent on your hands. So whilst I’m a sceptic for now, I’ll reserve any judgment until details of a plot surface, and then the film itself.
Admittedly, it’s going to be aimed at families, and so I’m not its target demographic, but still. Regardless of my scepticism, I’m at least interested to see what becomes of this, and am even looking forward to when the synopsis does surface, and then we can find out exactly how they will go about making a live-action Where’s Wally? film. I have a feeling that, like the books’ publication sales (which are north of 55m.), Wally will be travelling across the globe throughout the film, as we will too in our search for him, simultaneously giving the audience a feel for the visited countries whilst increasing its international market potential. Two birds, one stone.