EXCLUSIVE: The life of Theodor Geisel, the beloved author known across generations as Dr. Seuss, will be coming to the big screen courtesy of Carla Hacken, who is producing a feature film via her Paper Pictures banner. Stephen Chbosky will direct as his follow-up to his worldwide box office hit Wonder, the modestly budgeted drama that has grossed a whopping $285 million worldwide.
Written by Jonathan Stewart and Eyal Podell, Seuss will follow Geisel in the 1920s as he struggles to find his voice as a writer before meeting his muse and future wife in Helen Palmer, who propels him into becoming Dr. Suess. Thirty years later, a sudden illness cripples Helen and Geisel’s career falters, until she ultimately inspires him to fulfill his destiny and create the iconic children’s book The Cat in the Hat.
Geisel would end up writing more than 60 children’s books over his long life. After trying and failing repeatedly to get his first book published — it was And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street — he worked in advertising as an illustrator and even crafted political cartoons before eventually breaking through. Originally from Springfield, MA (which he used for inspiration for his first book), he died in 1991 in La Jolla, CA at the age of 87.
Hacken, who previously was the production president at indie production/finance company Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, is currently out to financiers and actors. While there she worked on Hell Or High Water which landed four Oscar noms including Best Picture. She left the company last year to form Paper Pictures.
Chbosky is repped by WME and Hansen, Jacobson; Stewart and Podell are repped by Verve and Industry Entertainment.