After languishing in development for the past two years, Paramount is finally moving forward with its Dora the Explorer adaptation, bringing on writer Nick Stoller to write the script. This Dora the Explorer live-action movie was first put into development exactly two years ago, when the studio brought on Tom Wheeler (Puss in Boots) to write the screenplay. There has been no movement on the project since then, but now it seems that the studio is moving forward with a new writer working on the script, and the studio eyeing a 2019 release date, with Michael Bay producing alongside his Platinum Dunes partners Andrew Form and Brad Fuller.
The project will be developed under the new Paramount Players division of the studio, which is devoted to producing films based on properties that fall under the banner of Paramount's parent corporation, Viacom, which include Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central and BET. Brian Robbins, creator of AwesomenessTV, was brought in this summer to oversee this division. It seems the formation of this new Paramount Players division was enough to put this project back on the right development track, although it remains unclear if Nick Stoller is starting from scratch with a brand new script, or if he's rewriting Tom Wheeler's script for this live-action adaptation.
While plot details are being kept under wraps, this report claims there will be one major change from the TV series. In the original animated show, Dora is just seven years old, but in this live-action movie, Dora will be a teenager, who moves to the big city to live with her cousin Diego. It remains to be seen if movie will include Dora's pet monkey Boots, or the villainous Swiper will be featured in this live-action movie or not. While it's likely still to early for the studio to consider casting yet, it will be interesting if the studio casts an American Latina actress for the role to stay true to this character, and possibly avoid any "whitewashing" controversy.
The original animated show ran on Nickelodeon from 2000 to 2014 for eight seasons, with often large gaps between the seasons, like the four year gape between Season 4 and Season 5. Nickelodeon produced 172 episodes of the hit series, which spawned a number of TV movies like 2007's Dora the Explorer: Dance-Along Musical Adventure, 2008's Dora the Explorer: It's a Party and 2009's Dora's Christmas Carol Adventure, along with video games such as 2007's Dora the Explorer: Dora Saves the Mermaids and 2010's Dora the Explorer: Dora's Big Birthday Adventure. The franchise also spawned a slew of merchandise, LEGO sets and even live stage shows.
Nick Stoller started his career as a writer for Strangers With Candy and Undeclared, before making his feature writing debut with Fun With Dick and Jane, followed by Yes Man, both of which starred Jim Carrey. He made his feature directing debut with the 2008 comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which he followed up by writing and directing the 2010 comedy feature Get Him to the Greek. He went on to direct The Five-Year Engagement, Neighbors, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising and Storks, along with episodes of the Netflix series he created, Friends From College. He also wrote the scripts for Gulliver's Travels, The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted, Sex Tape, Zoolander 2 and this year's Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. This report from The Hollywood Reporter also reveals that he wrote the movie Night School that is in production with Kevin Hart starring.