The “Garfield” movie got a sequel. The “Scooby-Doo” movie got a sequel. But “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events,” which pulled in far more at the box office than either of those wearisome live-action adaptations of children’s entertainment properties, still has not seen a follow-up. And “Snicket” had Jim Carrey. Not to mention more than a dozen books to plump for material.
So what sequence of ill-fated actions prevented “Lemony”’s return after doing $120 million at the box office in 2004? Apparently, an inter-studio squabble between co-producers Paramount and Dreamworks. Now the dust seems to have settled and original director Brad Silberling is making plans to bring Mr. Snicket’s — the pseudonym of author Daniel Handler — work back to the big screen as a stop-motion animated film. When MTV News chatted with the director, he revealed that this venture into a new medium will just be the beginning for “Lemony.”
“Handler and I have talked about every film being in a different medium,” Silberling told us.
Can he give us any hints which medium he’ll go with next? Motion capture? CGI animation? Claymation?
“Balinese shadow puppets,” Silberling deadpanned.
While the director remains tight-lipped about the specifics behind a possible third film, Silberling did explicate his thinking about why the second film will be a stop-motion animated flick with “incredible detail and very twisted artistry.”
“At this point the original actors playing the Baudelaire orphans are almost in mid-life,” he joked. “Liam Aiken is like 6’ 8” and his voice is deeper than God.”
So Silberling and Handler came up with a devious device to explain the shift from live-action to stop-motion. “In an odd way, the best thing you could do is actually have Lemony Snicket say to the audience, ‘Okay, we pawned the first film off as a mere dramatization with actors. Now I’m afraid I’m going to have to show you the real thing,’” explained Silberling.
Which “Lemony” book would you like to see Silberling adapt for stop-motion? What other medium would be a great fit for the books? Should Silberling and Handler start over from square one with the first book, or should they continue on after the events of “Unfortunate Events,” which runs through three of Handler’s stories?