As the wild success of this summer’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has reinforced, American audiences love nostalgia. It explains how film adaptations of properties like Alvin and the Chipmunks and The Smurfs became huge hits, as they tapped into the childhood rushes of many adults while also catering to the entertainment needs of their kids. So, it comes as little surprise that Hollywood is planning to resurrect the flirtatious animated icon Betty Boop for a big-screen affair.
Simon Cowell’s production company, Syco Entertainment, is partnering with The LEGO Movie animation house Animal Logic to make “a music-driven hybrid animation comedy” with the famed cartoon. Betty Boop will be the first project in a partnership between the companies to make music-driven animated and hybrid animation-live action films.
“I’ve worked with some serious divas but I think Betty could be the biggest of them all!” Cowell tweeted. He also revealed that the film will re-imagine the character, a classic flapper of the 1920s and 1930s, in a contemporary world and use modern music.
Although the character is familiar to many, she does not seem to be the obvious choice for a family-oriented film. Betty Boop is a recognizable character, sure, but it is hard to imagine many kids know much about her besides her name or what she looks like. Could many even tell us her signature line, “Boop-oop-a-doop?” Meanwhile, her risqué wardrobe could concern parents (and the animators trying to turn her into digestible family fare).
There is no writer or director attached to the Betty Boop movie just yet, but hopefully, Cowell will be as insistent on quality talent behind the camera as he is on the various programs he was a judge for. (If not, critics could slam the film as “dreadful,” in true Cowell form.)
Betty Boop will get her day on the big screen in 2016. We’ll keep you posted when we hear more.