Universal Secures Movie Rights to the Dictionary
on 3/25/2009 (1)
One of the world's all-time best selling books has yet to see a movie rendition, until now. Earlier today a press release from Universal Studios, best known for the movie hits Smokey and the Bandit II, Howard the Duck, and To Wong Foo, announced an agreement has been reached with Merriam-Webster to bring the Dictionary to the silver screen.
The Dictionary (working title) is slated to be released as a 2010 summer blockbuster with a budget exceeding $300 million, making it the most expensive move ever created. While no names have officially signed on to the project, it is rumored that Universal will be pushing hard to assemble an all-star cast including such big names as Tom Hanks, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Robert Dinero, and Steve Buscemi as the loveable yet misunderstood serial killing neighbor. Names of several big name directors have also been floated, including Peter Jackson, Stephen Spielberg, and Ron Howard. The screenplay will be written by Michael Crichton, resurrected from the dead specifically for this movie.
All the environments in The Dictionary will be created through advanced use of computer graphics, allowing The Dictionary to be filled with living and breathing locations that are more epic than anything ever previously imagined. There will be large scale land and space battles that will be so detailed and intricate that viewers will have to watch the movie several dozen times not only to see everything that is going on but to simply understand what is going on.
"Every American has read some if not all of the dictionary," said Jeff Zucker, CEO of NBC Universal (owners of Universal Studios). "With such a massive fan base, it is our belief that ticket sales and merchandising for The Dictionary will dwarf anything ever released before."
Merchandising for The Dictionary will include posters, T-shirts, a soundtrack by 80's rock icons Foghat, and (of course) dictionaries.
Excited Dictionary fans are already lining up in front of theaters in anticipation for the movie and online dictionary sales at Amazon.com have nearly doubled since the announcement.
According to the press release earlier today:
The Dictionary is the epic tale of love lost then found then lost, triumph over evil, coming of age in a post-apocalyptic society, and unbridled joy, love, and friendship between the unlikeliest of companions forced together by the unlikeliest of circumstances.
The Dictionary will follow the life of Dan Jones as he travels through space and time and Delaware, overcoming insurmountable odds in a race against the clock to save the only woman he ever loved and bring peace to a warring alien race all while staying true to the his personal convictions. Along the way, he will meet many interesting people, some who wish to help in his quest and others who want desperately to stop him.
Universal Studios is rumored to also be negotiating for the movie right to The Thesaurus, which would be released as a direct sequel to The Dictionary. A television mini-series The Encyclopedia is also planned to air on NBC in 2011.
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