The upcoming Rugrats Live-Action Movie now has its director, as David Bowers has reportedly signed on to helm the project. Bowers is perhaps best known for directing the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Movies, but he's been working in animation since the 1980s. Karen Rosenfelt is producing the movie, and series creators Arlene Klasky, Gabor Csupo, and Paul Germain were previously reported to be on board as executive producers as well. From Nickelodeon and Paramount Players, the movie has been given the release date of January 29, 2021.
Rugrats first premiered on Nickelodeon all the way back in 1991. It told the story of a group of babies and the wacky misadventures they get themselves into, making viewers wonder where exactly the parents are. It quickly became a global phenomenon, establishing itself as one of the most celebrated cartoon shows of all time over the course of its nine seasons. This can be proven by its many Daytime Emmy Awards, Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, and star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In addition to the upcoming live-action movie, Nickelodeon has also ordered 26 new episodes of Rugrats as well, reintroducing Tommy, Chucky, Phil, and Lil to an entirely new generation of young Nickelodeon viewers.
David Bowers' Rugrats movie will actually be the fourth time the mischievous babies will be hitting the big screen. They first appeared in theaters in 1998 with the premiere of The Rugrats Movie, which introduced Tommy's baby brother Dil. Against a $24 million budget, the movie grossed over $140 million globally. Nickelodeon capitalized on this success by premiering Rugrats in Paris: The Movie in theaters two years later, earning $103 million against a $30 million budget. In 2003, the babies hit the big screen one again with the Wild Thornberrys crossover movie Rugrats Go Wild. The movie was not as successful as the previous installments, but still topped $55 million with a $25 million budget.
Using a screenplay by David Goodman, the new movie will place Tommy Pickles and pals in an entirely new adventure set in a live-action world. CGI will be used for the babies and possibly other characters, while everything else around them will appear as normal. It will be one of many movies in the works to be using this format, as similar projects based on Sonic the Hedgehog and Tom and Jerry are also in development. Space Jam 2 with LeBron James is in production as well, which will certainly be a high profile release. Given Hollywood's commitment to sticking with certain trends, we're likely to hear about other similar projects to be announced in the months ahead.
No casting announcements have been made, and it has yet to be confirmed if any of the voice actors from the TV series will be reprising their roles. Certainly, fans would assume and hope so, but nothing is official. As production commences, we should all hopefully learn more about the project soon. Paramount has given the upcoming Rugrats movie a January 29, 2021 release date. This information comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.