EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has hired Elf scribe David Berenbaum to write Bugs Bunny, a live action/CG feature film designed to revive one of the studio’s most iconic intellectual properties. I’m told that Berenbaum, who also adapted The Spiderwick Chronicles and is writing an animated project with George Lucas–just closed his deal. No producer has yet been assigned. While Warner Bros has struggled to pick winners out of its DC Comics catalog beyond Batman, the studio has done little with its Looney Tunes catalog lately. Warner Bros scored with the 1996 film Space Jam, mingling Looney Tunes characters with NBA superstars led by Michael Jordan, but its feature momentum ground to a halt with the 2003 Brendan Fraser-starrer Looney Tunes: Back In Action.
Warner Bros has become active on the short film front. It has made a trilogy of 3D films so far. The first played before the recently released Cats & Dogs 2, the second will precede Zack Snyder’s Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, and the third will play in front of Yogi Bear.
While the rabbit was toned down in later Looney Tunes incarnations, the 1940 Tex Avery creation was the centerpiece for smart, topical, sophisticated and sometimes subversive cartoon shorts, marked by the vocal versatility of Mel Blanc, who also voiced Elmer Fudd, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and others. Berenbaum’s repped by WME.