A Rabbids movie is coming our way, courtesy of the folks at Lionsgate. It's come to light that the studio has secured the rights to the popular video game franchise and intends to bring the raving rabbit-like creatures to life on the big screen. Todd Strauss-Schulson (Isn't It Romantic) is being eyed to helm the adaptation, which is said to be a hybrid of live-action and CGI animation, perhaps akin to the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog movie.
According to a new report, Todd Strauss-Schulson is in advanced negotiations to direct. The project had previously been in development at Sony before changing hands. Strauss-Schulson previously directed the 2015 slasher The Final Girls, as well as episodes of The Inbetweeners and Zach Stone is Gonna Be Famous. His most recent effort, Isn't It Romantic starring Rebel Wilson hit theaters earlier this year and brought in a modest $48 million at the box office against a decent-to-good response from critics. Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman and Mandeville Films are set to produce the project. The two previously produced hits like Beauty and the Beast and Wonder.
It's unclear how Lionsgate will proceed, in terms of the story. The current screenplay has several individuals' names on it, including Matt Senreich, Tom Sheppard and Zeb Wells of Robot Chicken fame, as well as a rewrite from Todd Rosenberg (All My Life). One would assume Todd Strauss-Schulson will at least take a pass at what is already on the page. It's possible it could be back to square one since it's at a new studio. For now, few details are available. Meredith Wieck and Chelsea Kujawa are said to be overseeing the project for Lionsgate.
Rabbids, or "Raving Rabbids," were introduced originally as part of the Rayman video game series. The characters were quite popular and were eventually given a spin-off franchise. The first game, Rayman Raving Rabbits, was released in 2006, with a sequel released the following year. A number of sequels and off-shoots have been produced in the years since, including 2017s Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle for the Nintendo Switch. The rabbit-like creatures like to cause mischief and are known for shouting nonsense like "BWAH!" when they're overcome with adrenaline. To date, the various video games featuring the characters have sold more than 15 million copies. Sony first Announced their Rabbids movie in 2014, with the Robot Chicken team coming on a year later. So this thing has been kicking around for awhile.
For Lionsgate, this represents a potential franchise at a time when studios are looking high and low for possible IP that can be exploited for just such a purpose. While other studios like Disney and Warner Bros. have loads of major franchises to pull from, Lionsgate has had to get more creative, and they've had some big bombs in the last few years, with John Wick being one of the few bright spots. With other video game movies such as Detective Pikachu and The Angry Birds Movie succeeding in recent years, they could be looking to make a similar play here. The Rabbids movie does not yet have a release date set. This news comes to us via Deadline.