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A version of this story first appeared in the June 20 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Christmas’ new grinch is Grumpy Cat. The Internet-famous feline is getting her own Lifetime movie, titled Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever.
Tim Hill (SpongeBob SquarePants) and Jeff Morris will pen the script, about a pet-store cat that is perpetually overlooked and the 12-year-old girl who can communicate with her. “It brings fun and irreverence that we haven’t had at Lifetime,” says vp original movies Arturo Interian, noting that his teenage daughters are fans of Grumpy and gave him the initial idea for the project. “We’re so known for our heartfelt sentimentality that it will poke fun at those stereotypes.”
Lifetime is casting the voice of Grumpy for the live-action project, which will shoot this summer. The cable network said the movie, which Interian describes as “a little Home Alone and a little Die Hard,” would also feature cameos from other famous Internet memes.
Grumpy — actually named Tardar Sauce, a misspelling of the condiment, for the color of her fur — became an Internet meme in 2012 when owner Tabatha Bundesen‘s brother posted a photo on Reddit. Since then, she has spawned a book, a coffee product and even a short-lived theatrical movie deal with Broken Road Productions (Here Comes the Boom).
But manager Ben Lashes — who also works with Keyboard Cat, Success Kid and other Internet memes — says Lifetime “is the perfect venue” for her. “When I go home for Christmas, there are movies that we always watch,” he adds. “It becomes a tradition. I like that aspect of Christmas movies.”
Grumpy, who spends most of her time at home in Phoenix, recently made a guest appearance on the 13th season of American Idol and had a front-row seat at the MTV Movie Awards in April. Lashes says she appears to thrive on the attention she receives while she’s on the road, noting that she will be well taken care of during production on the movie. “I’m sure she’ll have the poshest trailer a cat has ever had on-set.”