EXCLUSIVE: Dr. Seuss Enterprises and Warner Animation Group have set Jon M. Chu as director of the upcoming film adaptation of Oh, The Places You’ll Go! The new animated feature, set to debut in 2027, will bring the iconic story and characters of Dr. Seuss’ beloved book to life on the big screen.
Based on Dr. Seuss’ final book, Oh, The Places You’ll Go! will be a globetrotting animated musical following a young adventurer as they journey through the joys and heartaches, and the peaks and valleys, of life.
Bad Robot Productions has been tapped to adapt the book, originally published in 1990, for the big screen, marking the award-winning production company’s first foray into feature animation. J.J. Abrams will serve as producer on the film along with Hannah Minghella, Bad Robot’s Head of Motion Pictures. The film is a full-circle moment for Minghella, who ran Sony Animation years ago and made it clear when she joined Bad Robot her desire to branch out to feature animation for the banner.
For WAG, this property is something it has had high hopes for ever since starting a relationship with the Dr. Seuss Estate in 2018. When the studio got the rights to Cat in the Hat in 2018 as part of a new partnership with the estate, the parties started to discuss other titles to focus on, and Oh, The Places You’ll Go! quickly became their next priority. One of the acclaimed author’s most famous titles, the story hit home with execs like WB President of Production and Development Courtenay Valenti because it wasn’t just for children, but people of all ages. The book’s powerful themes and stylistic differences have been analyzed for decades, with the book not only told as a bedtime story but also given as a gift at high school graduations.
Sources say once Bad Robot was brought on as a producer both sides talked about who they thought made sense as a director. The discussion quickly turned to Chu, who already had strong ties to the studio going back to directing the hit romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians; while he had never directed an animated film before, he had expressed interest and always had wanted to direct one. Insiders add that several years ago, WB had put together a handful of creative pods for some of its branded material like Dr. Seuss and Hanna Barbara, which Chu was a part of, and during his time in the pod, he had let the studio know he very much wanted to direct an animated film in the future.
The decision to circle back to him for this property came out of the idea of how he directs with heart and humanity. Following that one call, he was on board.
Oh, The Places You’ll Go! is part of a growing slate of animated projects that Warner Animation Group and Dr. Seuss Enterprises are developing, including a film adaption of The Cat in the Hat that will kick off the new Dr. Seuss movie slate in 2024 with Erica Rivinoja (South Park, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2) and Art Hernandez (Planes, Planes: Fire and Rescue) on board as directors; and Thing One and Thing Two (working title), an original feature-length animated adventure. Additionally, the hit Netflix series Green Eggs and Ham, another joint project, debuted its second season on Netflix on November 5.
Chu most recently helmed the film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning musical In the Heights for Warner Bros, released June 11 in theaters and on HBO Max. He is perhaps best known for directing the worldwide phenomenon Crazy Rich Asians, which was nominated for numerous awards and earned more than $240 million at the global box office, making it one of the top 10 highest-grossing romantic comedies of all time. He is attached to direct Wicked, the feature-film adaptation of the record-breaking musical for Universal that just tapped Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande to star. For television, Chu serves as an executive producer and director of Home Before Dark for Apple TV+, which recently debuted its second season.
Previous credits include Step Up 2: The Streets, GI. Joe: Retaliation, Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never and more, representing over $1.3 billion in worldwide box office.
He is repped by UTA and Artists First.
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