Originally posted at Deadline Hollywood
By MIKE FLEMING JR
EXCLUSIVE: Grumpy Cat, the cranky-faced kitty voted Meme of the Year Award at the 2013 Webby Awards, has a shot at getting her famous sourpuss on the big screen. Broken Road’s Todd Garner and Sean Robins, and Grumpy Cat’s reps (manager Ben Lashes and rep Al Hassas) have teamed up to produce and assemble a package for a Garfield
-like feature film with the now famous frowning feline at the center. Here, Grumpy Cat (real name Tardar Sauce) will be given the power of speech. How much movie potential can a Grumpy Cat have? Well, she has been scratching at the door of fame in a big way. Among the indicators: Grumpy Cat was named the most influential cat of 2012 by MSNBC, a most important Meme of 2012 by Mashable, and she has appeared in various news and TV shows including The Today Show, Good Morning America, Anderson Cooper Live, VH1 Morning Buzz, The Soup, CBS Evening News, TMZ, USA Today.
In March, Grumpy Cat was deemed the star of South by Southwest-i by news outlets. The appearances drew lines of thousands of people that spanned for blocks. Grumpy Cat received more social mentions in four days than anyone else at SXSWi. The official Facebook has over 930,000 likes, and has a weekly reach well over 2 million. The official YouTube Channel has over 120,000 subscribers and over 20 million views. Grumpy Cat stars in a collection of webisodes in partnership with Friskies and the Will Kitty Play With It series. Grumpy Cat merchandise sells at Wal Mart, Hot Topic, Thinkgeek, and many other retail stores. Licenses include Chronicle Books, Gund, Ripple Junction, Buckle Down, T Line, ATNY, Ultra Pro, 99 Cent Brains and more.
If you need more convincing: the catalyst for the movie action is Garner, who optioned the story and life rights of a bunch of adult men who hold a cross-country game of tag. That project is now a priority at New Line, with Mark Steilen writing and Will Ferrell and Jack Black coming attached to play two of the main characters. Garner believes this crotchety critter will be catnip for the family film crowd.
“This started off as a picture of a cat, but rare is an image that evokes that much comedy,” Garner said. “You read all of the memes and the comments, and one is funnier than the next. We think we can build a big family comedy around this character.”
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