EXCLUSIVE: More depressing news for humans who can’t get a Hollywood movie made. Grumpy Cat, the cranky-faced kitty voted Meme of the Year at the 2013 Webby Awards, has a shot at getting her famous sourpuss on the big screen. Broken Road’s Todd Garner and Sean Robins, and Grumpy Cat’s reps (manager Ben Lashes and rep Al Hassas) have teamed up to produce and assemble a package for a Garfield-like feature film with the famous frowning feline at the center. Here, Grumpy Cat (real name Tardar Sauce) will be given the power of speech. How much movie potential can a Grumpy Cat have? Well, she has been scratching at the door of fame in a big way. Among the indicators: Grumpy Cat was named the most influential cat of 2012 by MSNBC, a most important Meme of 2012 by Mashable, and has appeared on such TV shows including Today, Good Morning America, CBS Evening News, Anderson Cooper Live, VH1 Morning Buzz and The Soup. In March, Grumpy Cat was deemed the star of South by Southwest-i by news outlets. The appearances drew lines of thousands of people that spanned for blocks. Grumpy Cat received more social mentions in four days than anyone else at SXSWi.The cat’s official Facebook has more than 930,000 likes and a weekly reach well over 2 million. The official YouTube Channel has over 120,000 subscribers and over 20 million views. Grumpy Cat stars in a collection of webisodes in partnership with Friskies and the Will Kitty Play With It series. Grumpy Cat merchandise sells at Walmart, Hot Topic, Thinkgeek and many other retail stores. Licenses include Chronicle Books, Gund, Ripple Junction, Buckle Down, T Line, ATNY, Ultra Pro, 99 Cent Brains and more.
If you need more convincing: the catalyst for the movie action is Garner, who optioned the story and life rights of a bunch of adult men who hold a cross-country game of tag. That project is now a priority at New Line, with Mark Steilen writing and Will Ferrell and Jack Black coming attached to play two of the main characters. Garner believes this crotchety critter will be catnip for the family-film crowd.
“This started off as a picture of a cat, but rare is an image that evokes that much comedy,” Garner said. “You read all of the memes and the comments, and one is funnier than the next. We think we can build a big family comedy around this character.”