The Perks of Being a Wallflower writer/director Stephen Chbosky is working on a new film that follows the life of beloved children writer Theodor Geisel, more popularly known as Dr. Seuss. While Dr. Seuss’ stories and artwork are essentially synonymous with childhood and his characters are instantly recognizable and enduring, it’s incredible that there hasn’t been a biopic of Geisel before.
Jonathan Stewart and Eyal Podell are writing the script. Geisel, who lived from 1904-1991, had an incredibly interesting life. The synopsis from Slash Film reads:
“The film, titled Seuss, will follow the young Theodor Geisel in the 1920s as he struggles to find his artistic voice. Geisel’s life changes for the better when he meets his future-wife Helen Palmer, who inspires him to become Dr. Seuss. Later in their marriage, Helen is inflicted with a crippling illness, and Geisel’s career begins to fall apart, until Helen inspires Geisel to write The Cat in the Hat. Geisel went on to publish more than 60 children’s books under the pen name Dr. Seuss.”
It’s in the 1920s that Geisel goes through his college years, adopts the name “Seuss”, and starts drawing for magazines, newspapers, and more. The Cat in the Hat is published in 1957. So much happens in that time: the Great Depression, the New Deal, World War II, much of which Geisel was heavily involved in as a political cartoonist. I’m looking forward to how Chbosky decides to approach this biopic which combines such a heavy historical backdrop with personal tragedy and the artist’s joyful stories. I’m also cautious about how the film will address some of Geisel’s less delightful work, such as his support of Japanese internment during the war. In The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Wonder the director has been able to navigate stories about young character facing serious issues, so hopefully this will be an interesting dive into Geisel’s character rather than a conventional, feel-good biopic.
What do you think about Seuss? Who should play the iconic writer?
(via Slash Film, image: Random House)
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