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Universal Pictures has picked up the screen rights to Where's Waldo?, Martin Hanford's popular character from the line of bestselling children's books. The rights cost Universal a pretty penny though as several other studios also sought to buy them. In the end Uni became the owner by cutting a check somewhere close to a million bucks.
Chris Meledandri's Illumination Entertainment will produce the movie as a live-action family oriented film. No storyline has yet emerged for the film but Variety got the glean that its creators want to have a tale with a "strong global appeal". That makes sense since in the books readers have to search for Waldo at global destinations. Of course, in Hanford's book there's no storyline; the reader just has to keep looking at the detailed illustration until they discover where the red-and-white shirt wearing globetrotter is standing.
To date over 50 million books have been sold since the first one came out in 1987. Spinoff products include video games, an animated kids TV series, comic strips and foot ointment medication.
(Just kidding about that last one.)
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