The little woodpecker made his first appearance all the way back in 1940, voiced at the time by the legendary Mel Blanc, whose credits include (get ready for this) Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird and Sylvester, Foghorn Leghorn, Wile E. Coyote, Tom and Jerry, Barney Rubble, The Tasmanian Devil, and so many more animated favourites.
Since his debut, Woody’s starred in dozens and dozens of feature shorts, as well as cameos in other films (like Who Framed Roger Rabbit), and has of course been the star of his own TV show, most recently voiced by Billy West, best known for voicing Fry, Prof. Farnsworth, Zoidberg, and many more characters on Futurama.
The project is set up at the Universal-based Illumination Entertainment animation house, who’ve given us the brilliant Despicable Me, and will be bringing us Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax next year. The details about how this Woody Woodpecker film will look visually aren’t yet known, but we could well be getting Woody in a CGI form, which could be interesting, as long as it’s done well.
John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky, co-writers of Blades of Glory, are in talks to pen the script, with the plan being to modernise good ol’ Woody in the hopes of launching what could turn into a franchise in the future. Personally, I’m all for it. Despicable Me was absolutely brilliant, and The Lorax looks like it’s going to be too, so we have every reason to have a little faith in the studio to bring us something great from Woody Woodpecker.
With a script still to be written, it could be some time before we hear any concrete movement on the project, but let’s hope that it’ll be smooth sailing, because I think this is something to look forward to.