Why the creator of Calvin and Hobbes turned down Steven Spielberg’s movie offer | Pretty Reel

Director Steven Spielberg reportedly once approached the creator of Calvin and Hobbes to make an animated film – and was rejected by the cartoonist.

When Steven Spielberg reportedly considered making an animated Calvin and Hobbes movie, comic book creator Bill Watterson dismissed the legendary director. Over the years, Spielberg is said to have been among many directors and companies that have attempted to adapt Watterson’s iconic series into a property beyond the comic book. However, like anyone who wanted to put a price tag on creating an expanded Calvin and Hobbes universe, Spielberg failed.

A 2005 Washington Post report by Neely Tucker confirmed that Steven Spielberg had approached Bill Watterson about potentially making an animated film based on the influential comic book. Neely wrote that in 1988, Calvin and Hobbes syndicator Universal Press Syndicate was called by Spielberg’s assistant, who requested a meeting with the elusive cartoonist. However, when union president Lee Salem approached Watterson to speak with Spielberg and tried to set up a date, Watterson immediately shut down the idea; as Salem recounted, he “just wasn’t interested” in turning Calvin and Hobbes into a movie.

Bill Watterson was adamant about not allowing Calvin and Hobbes

Bill Watterson stuck to his guns when it came to not marketing Calvin and Hobbes, as he lost an estimated hundreds of millions of dollars refusing to have movies, cartoons, toys and other products created from comics. Watterson, who rarely makes public appearances and has always been elusive, said he refused commercialization to maintain the integrity of Calvin and Hobbes. Difficult to argue his reasoning as the comic remains so special because it is entirely contained in the stories themselves.

Spielberg wasn’t the only major player in the movie world trying to make Calvin and Hobbes a movie. Watterson admitted in a chat with Mental Floss that Pixar tried to make a movie based on its iconic characters, and while it enjoyed the animation giant’s work, it had no interest in animating Calvin and Hobbes. There have also been long-running rumors that Star Wars creator George Lucas wanted to make a Calvin and Hobbes movie, however, it appears Watterson and his close associates never publicly addressed this particular story.

It’s pretty impressive to see a creator stand so strongly against the commercialization of his work – as Bill Watterson refused to license anyone or a company the rights to Calvin and Hobbes, potentially throwing out hundreds of millions of dollars. by doing it. Considering Spielberg called him out as he emerged from a series of acclaimed films in the 1980s, including Raiders of the Lost Arc, ET and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Watterson’s rejection spoke to his incredible character and his devotion to Calvin and Hobbes. Bill Watterson didn’t want his work adapted, no matter how awesome the creator wanting to adapt the comic, including Steven Spielberg, was.

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Why the creator of Calvin and Hobbes turned down Steven Spielberg’s movie offer | Pretty Reel

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