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Two years after Fox and Walden Media acquired the rights to The Family Circus, they’ve settled on writers to help bring the long-running comic strip to life on the big screen. According to Variety, the job goes to Nichole Millard and Kathryn Price, who penned Disney’s 2007 family comedy The Game Plan and are now adapting the young-adult novel Fallen for Mayhem Pictures and Inferno.
So why The Family Circus? Good question. Bil Keane’s nearly 53-year-old comic is little more than a series of one-off gags of the kids-say-the-darnedest-things variety, focusing on a fictionalized version of the cartoonist’s own family. While the panel cartoon deals with themes of faith, family and responsibility — “Not Me!” — there’s no overarching plot; the children don’t age, and one of the few (only?) signs of change has been Mommy’s hairstyle.
But, hey, if Marmaduke can get his own live-action feature, then so can The Family Circus. Besides, the latter appears in 1,500 newspapers, making it the mostly widely circulated panel cartoon in the world. Clearly somebody likes The Family Circus.
Although this project would mark the strip’s first feature film, The Family Circus was adapted as a series of three animated television specials that aired in the late 1970s and early ’80s.