Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Captain Crunch Movie Greenlit

In Hollywood's ongoing quest to find original source material, it may surprise many to know that the latest source of inspiration may come from the breakfast table. Earlier this week, Paramount confirmed that a live-action movie featuring "Captain Crunch", the sailor character that's been on breakfast cereal boxes for almost 50 years, is "in development".

Given the mixed results in attempting to make movies out of board game properties, it's hardly surprising that other elements of childhood memories are being mined for ideas. "Captain Crunch is an instantly recognizable brand that resonates not only with today's children, but with their parents, who grew up eating the cereal," explained marketing specialist Irma Gedun in a recent telephone interview.

According to a studio executive who refused to go on record, the project already has a commitment from director Roland Emmerich to helm the picture, and discussions to have actor-comedian Jack Black as the titular character appear "promising".

While many details still need to be worked out, initial reports indicate that the movie would trace Crunch's career in a late 19th century naval setting, starting off with his humble beginnings as a seaman on board a ship of the line during the Age of Sail.

"We learn what makes Seaman Crunch so special," Gedun elaborated. "Think of it; doesn't the whole concept of Seaman Crunch fire up your curiosity? And then we get to see him ascend the ranks until, at last, he's promoted to Captain and given the command of the S.S. Guppy, and gets his crew." Gedun cited the mostly forgotten fact that when Captain Crunch was first introduced, he had a full cast of characters and an ongoing story. "He had a crew of kids, and a dog named Sea Dog," Gedun explained. "He even had a nemesis: Jean LaFoot, the Barefoot Pirate, and that's who the Captain's foil will be." Actor Jean Reno has been rumored to be a front-runner for the part.

The presence of LaFoot the pirate as Crunch's nemesis has fueled speculation that movie would have an overall pirate theme to it. Furthermore, it's a given that the good Captain would need updating to conform to 21st century sensibilities. "Back in the 60's, the Captain's crew was made up of a group of generic white cartoon children," Gedun pointed out. "Our new Captain's crew would be more racially diverse, and considering the pirate motif and the area of the Caribbean as the setting, we could have ethnically diverse children from England, Spain, France, and Jamaica."

Sea Dog, the crew's dog mascot, would be rendered with CGI. If the Crunchberry Beast were to appear as well, speculation says that actor Andy Serkis would be tapped for the role, though Gedun says that if the Beast were to appear, it would probably be in a sequel. Gedun calls the possibility of an appearance by Sidney the Elephant, the old mascot for Capn' Peanut Butter Crunch "highly unlikely".

The good Captain's ship, the SS Guppy, will also receive a modern makeover. "Although she'll incorporate the traditional 19th century sailing vessel design," Gedun explained, "She'll be an 80-gun ship of the line, ready to go toe to toe guns a-blazing with the biggest and baddest pirate ships at sea."

"Overall, the movie would be an action-comedy-origin story," Gedun concluded. "With plenty of family-friendly swashbuckling action on the high seas, and a light-hearted, uplifting story with a positive message."

Rival studios are carefully watching the progress of the project, as other possible cereal characters may end up on the big screen. There is speculation that Universal Pictures is researching the feasibility of a Count Chocula/Frankenberry/BooBerry/Fruit Brute horror comedy, as a kind of homage to the old Universal monsters. Other possibilities including a raunchy bro comedy starring Snap, Crackle, and Pop, and a whimsical kid's fantasy movie spotlighting Lucky the Leprechaun.

Gedun ruled out any movie treatments on any cereal mascot that wasn't somewhat human to begin with, which rules out the possibility of a movie featuring a character such as the Honey Nut Cheerios Bee. "That would just be silly," Gedun acknowledged.

Filming for Captain Crunch is slated to begin in June, on location in Jamaica, and scheduled for a Christmas 2015 release.