Where next after the unlikely pitch-hitter of The Lego Movie? Looking for the next colourful and popular intellectual property to turn into a blockbuster narrative animated classic, producer Adam Rifkin has hit on the sweetie brand Peeps. His producing partners Brent Tinter and Brian E. Rochlin are supporting him in his dream.
Peeps are sugar-coated marshmallows much loved in America and Canada. They come in day-glo colours and are shaped mostly like cute animals (chicks, bunnies and so on), with seasonal variations for Hallowe'en, Valentine's Day and Christmas. Pennsylvania manufacturer Just Born makes something like $2bn a year from them. Scientists have ascertained that Peeps do not dissolve in acetone, sodium hydroxide or sulphuric acid, which sounds like a gambit from The Unbelievable Truth but seems to be legit.
As is the way of these things (see butter sculpting and so on), there is also an odd culture around Peeps involving diorama contests: the winner of a Washington Post competition this year recreated the setting of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech. This is the crux of the film's pitch, which sees a lone Peep getting separated from his comrades just before a contest, and having to make his way through the fantasy-lands of several alien dioramas before he can get back to his own. So, yeah.
We live in a world where we don't have a Thundercats movie. Just saying.
Rifkin's previous credits include Underdog and the rather good Detroit Rock City. As a writer he also gave us Mousehunt and, perhaps significantly here, Small Soldiers. He'll be writing the Peeps screenplay himself before taking the project out for studio deals.
How is this a thing that is happening? Honestly, we just don't know anymore.