In light of a stellar box office performance-that is still squeaking along after four months-a Stuart Little sequel is in the works at Columbia Pictures, with shooting to commence as early as the summer and a target release date of Christmas 2001. The family feature, another CGI/live-action combo that will be digitally mastered by Sony Pictures Imageworks, is expected to remain in the US$100-million budget range. As with the original movie, the E.B. White children’s book will be a main plot source for the sequel. Producer Doug Wick and actress Geena Davis (Mrs. Little) have agreed to return, but all other talent deals are still in negotiations.
Deemed a potential evergreen franchise character by executive VP of Sony Pictures Consumer Products Peter Dang, licensing efforts will be pursued aggressively for the sequel. All licensees are back on-board, aiming to launch product in time for the holiday 2000 season. According to Sony Pictures Consumer Products director of marketing Adam Langsbard, Hasbro will be the master toy licensee for the sequel and beyond. ‘Hasbro is very committed to the project,’ he says.
In related CGI news, Stuart Little executive producer Stephen Waterman also recently optioned the feature film rights to the George Selden children’s book The Cricket in Times Square and its six sequels. The book, published in 1960, follows a musically adept cricket named Chester, who uses his singing skills to save a Times Square newsstand from bankruptcy. Waterman, an independent producer who has also produced Casper and Kull, intends to transform the book into a CGI-animated/live-action feature.