Warner Bros. has finally found the filmmaker to help them get to Sesame Street.
Sources tell Variety that “Portlandia” director and co-creator, Jonathan Krisel, is set to helm the live-action “Sesame Street” movie for Warner Bros. The film will be a musical, according to sources.
Warner Bros. will co-finance with MGM.
Shawn Levy is producing with Michael Aguilar. Mike Rosolio penned the first draft, while Chris Galletta wrote the most recent version, which he’s polishing. Jesse Ehrman is shepherding it for Warner Bros. Sesame Workshop, which holds the rights to the show, will also be involved in the development of the project.
The educational series, which premiered in 1969, features a combination of live-action and puppetry, as well as animation. It is best known as the home of the Jim Henson creations Big Bird, Bert, Ernie, Grover, Oscar the Grouch, Cookie Monster, and Elmo.
After spending years on PBS, Sesame Workshop signed a five-season deal in 2015 with HBO, and the show continues to air in 2018. Levy has been working on the project since 2012 when 20th Century Fox held the rights and continued to develop after they shifted to WB. With Krisel now on board, the pic seems the closest it’s ever been to a greenlight.
While Warner Bros.’ DC Universe has been its top priority in recent years, the studio is still invested in family-focused films. Given the global popularity of the “Sesame Street” brand, it has been eager to get this off the ground.
The film will be Krisel’s first major studio movie after spending the last several years turning “Portlandia” into one of the most critically acclaimed variety shows on television. The series has received numerous Emmy nominations since its premiere in 2011, including three directing noms for Krisel.
He is repped by UTA and Mosaic.