Forget your Captain America, your Iron Man, and even (whisper it) your Loki. If DreamWorks Animation has its way, every kid will want to dress up as Captain Underpants. Because… the costume is easier? In any case, the ‘toon studio has recruited a cast to voice the leads, with Ed Helms, Kevin Hart, Nick Kroll, Jordan Peele and Thomas Middleditch all headed for microphones.
Word first arrived back in October of 2011 that the studio and Monsters Vs. Aliens director Rob Letterman had finally managed to crack through the rights-protective attitude of creator Dav Pilkey, who opened up the option to his book series – published since 1997 – to an auction.
The books revolve around primary school kids Harold Hutchins (Middleditch) and George Beard (Hart), whose hobby is writing and drawing the adventures of their invented superman. Their headmaster Benny Krupp (Helms) hates children, and runs a fascist regime at the boys' elementary school, where imagination is forbidden. But the boys hypnotize Krupp into becoming the nice Captain Underpants whenever anyone snaps their fingers (he changes back when water is poured on his head) leading to many adventures against several villains. In the film, the main antagonist will be Professor Poopypants (Kroll). Peele, meanwhile, will be their nerdy school nemesis, Melvin.
“These actors are some of the funniest around today. Letting them loose with these characters is sure to be a hysterical ride,” Letterman tells The Wrap. Parents might be split on the idea, since the books promote reading but are also full of scatological humour and anti-school, but they do sound pretty much perfect for animation.
There’s no time schedule for the film’s release yet, but with movies locked in from the company through at least 2016/17, it might be a while before Captain Underpants takes off.