DreamWorks Animation Set to Adapt 'Captain Underpants' Book Series
After what was apparently quite a bidding war, Deadline says DreamWorks Animation has come out on top with the film rights to the 8-volume book series Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey. Considering the goofy illustrations, an animated film is certainly the best route for this type of adaptation which follows a couple of precocious fourth graders named George Beard and Harold Hutchins. Looking to get back at nasty, student-hating principal Mr. Benny Krupp, the boys hypnotize the principal and cause him to become Captain Underpants. Sounds like the start of a strange lawsuit to me, but this is a children's tale after all.
Though normally a principal in just his underwear would raise some eyebrows, in this case the Mr. Benny Krupp becomes a superhero who is nice and helpful to children and manages to get into all kinds of misadventures with the fourth graders shadowing him to make sure he doesn’t get hurt. And of course, the principal has no recollection of the events upon waking up. The author has been courted for the movie rights since the books started hitting shelves in 1997, but he didn't feel it was the right time until now. It's not clear why he was hesitant before, but maybe it's just time to get that movie money in his bank account.
The book series has wacky adventures like Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets, Captain Underpants and the Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies from Outer Space, so there's a lot of silliness going on that is perfect for an animated film. Apparently a ninth book in the series, Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers is already on the way, so there's the potential for quite an animated film franchise here that should please all the young fans out there. Hopefully, whoever ends up writing can make it enjoyable for the adults forced to watch it as well.