Dr Seuss's Signature courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, undated - Heritage Auctions/Wikimedia Commons
CAIRO – 15 February 2018: Dr Seuss, beloved children's book author famous for “The Cat in the Hat?”, “The Grinch” and “Horton Hears a Who” amongst many other classics is getting a biographical feature film, with “Wonder” director Stephen Chbosky attached to direct the project.
Born as Theodore Geisel in 1904, 'Dr Seuss' started from humble origins in Massachusetts, working as an illustrator and struggling to get his book, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” published, continuously rejected until he finally got lucky in 1937. He would eventually go on to publish around 60 books for children, and had even worked as a political cartoonist during World War II. His whimsical art style, creative character concepts and rhyming style have made him one of the world's most beloved children's book authors.
However, not all of Seuss's legacy has been positive. His earlier works, particularly those done during WWII, have been accused of harboring racist sentiment, such as against the Japanese. His later works show a shift towards a more mature worldview, and “Horton Hears a Who”, first published in 1954, was written by Seuss as a direct apology for his anti-Japanese works, which he started to rethink after visiting Japan in 1953, witnessing the aftermath of the atomic bombing and the hopes of the schoolchildren he met.
The upcoming film is set to be written by Jonathan Stewart and Eyal Podell, according to Deadline, and will follow the author's early career during the 1920s and his struggle to establish himself as a writer and illustrator, before meeting his future wife Helen Palmer, who would inspire him to become 'Dr Seuss' years later. It is unknown if the film will address the racism controversy that his works have been a frequent target of.
Chbosky's “Wonder”, starring Julia Roberts, was a massive hit, grossing in over $285 million at the worldwide box-office. His previous credits include 2012's “Perks of Being a Wallflower” and screenwriting 2017's “Beauty and the Beast”.