Grumpy Cat – Internet Phenom Gets Movie Deal
By Ben Kayser and Tom Snyder
If you spend any time on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, it’s likely you’ve seen the incredibly popular Internet meme of a picture of a “cranky-faced” cat. This comedic picture of “Grumpy Cat” spread like wildfire on the internet creating almost instant fame for the furry creature. The cat, whose real name is “Tarder Sauce,” was named by MSNBC the most influential cat of 2012 and has appeared on a number of TV shows.
Grumpy Cat has a major following on Facebook and YouTube and even has merchandise selling at Walmart. With this fame, it’s no surprise that Tarder Sauce’s representatives and managers (yes, even animal celebrities need them) have teamed up to produce a Garfield-like feature film.
“We think we can build a big family comedy around this character,” Producer Todd Garner said.
Will Ferrell and Jack Black are already attached to play the two main characters, though not much is known about the story.
“This started off as a picture of a cat, but rare is an image that evokes that much comedy,” Garner noted. “You read all the memes and the comments, and one is funnier than the next.”
It’s hard to tell whether Grumpy Cat’s online following will sell movie tickets. The producers would be wise to make this comedy family friendly like the Garfield movies, which earned nearly $350 million worldwide.
This shows the emerging power of the Internet to create stories and characters for Hollywood to exploit, Christian Film & Television Commission® (www.cftvc.org) Founder and Chairman Dr. Ted Baehr noted.
“The mass media creates the culture around us that shapes hearts and minds, especially children’s,” he reminds readers. “Citizens can no longer afford not to consider this fact when choosing what Internet sites and what movies they and their families will visit and watch.”
Dr. Baehr said the Internet has become a very important cultural influence.
“That said,” he added, “movies are still the biggest determining factor within the mass media in shaping people’s values, perceptions and beliefs.”
A world-renowned media scholar and filmmaking teacher, Dr. Baehr is the author of THE CULTURE-WISE FAMILY, THE MEDIA-WISE FAMILY, and HOW TO SUCCEED IN HOLLYWOOD (WITHOUT LOSING YOUR SOUL).
His next filmmaking workshop will be held in the Los Angeles area June 27-30. For more information, please call 1-888-248-6689.
Founded by Dr. Baehr in 1985, the Christian Film & Television Commission® is a nonprofit ministry “dedicated to redeeming the values of the mass media of entertainment, according to biblical principles, by influencing entertainment industry leaders and by informing and equipping the public about the effects of the mass media and what to do about it.”
- Source: Deadline Hollywood, 05/30/13.