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20th Century Fox wants to tell you how to get to Sesame Street.
The studio has picked up the movie rights to the long-running and iconic children’s television show and has tapped longtime Street writer Joey Mazzarino to pen the script. Producers are Shawn Levy and his 21 Laps banner, Michael Aguilar, Mark Gordon and Film 360’s Guymon Casady.
The educational series, which premiered in 1969, airs mostly on PBS stations and features a combination of live-action and puppetry, as well as animation. It is best known as the home of the Jim Henson creations Big Bird, Bert and Ernie, Grover, Oscar the Grouch, Cookie Monster and Elmo. It’s estimated that about one in three Americans has watched the show, and the format is broadcast in dozens of countries. Sesame Street also has won 138 Emmys during its run.
The series has generated two previous big-screen adaptations, 1985’s Follow That Bird and 1999’s The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland. Bird featured John Candy, Chevy Chase and Dave Thomas as well as the marquee puppets. It was distributed by Warner Bros.
Sesame Workshop, the company behind the show (and formerly known as Children’s Television Workshop), likely will be involved in a producer capacity as well.
Fox had no comment on the news.
Levy, the director of Night at the Museum, Date Night and Real Steel, is a eyeing a July start for his next movie, the Fox comedy The Internship, which will reteam Wedding Crashers stars Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. 21 Laps is producing the coming-of-age indie The Spectacular Now and the Fox 2000 Christmas comedy Alone for the Holidays.
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