How to Make a Where's Waldo Movie

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MGM has bought the rights to Where's Waldo?, the illustrated kids book series in which the goal is to find the striped shirt-sporting hero in a crowd, and we have some suggestions on how to adapt it. Like odd adaptations before it -- Battleship becomes silly-looking thriller, e.g. -- Where's Waldo? will simply have to take the big, main parts of the book, like y'know the title and maybe the trademark costume, and apply them to the bones of any old genre movie. To that end, we think there are three ways this Waldo movie could go. Let's break them down.

The Waldo Identity

The Pitch: Clive Owen stars in this cat-and-mouse thriller about Waldo Crane, a "disappearist" who is a master at blending in any time, anywhere. Trouble is another disappearist, an old friend gone bad from Waldo's past (played by Daniel Craig), is trying to get Waldo out of the game... permanently. So Waldo sets out on a globe-trotting adventure to save himself, with beautiful Chicago detective Celia Bishop (Kate Mara) in tow. Where's Waldo? If he does his job, you'll never know.

Some Kind of Waldo

The Pitch: Bookworm geek and library employee Waldo Worthington (Adam Brody) might be the most invisible guy at Deanington University. He's just lost in the crowd! And usually that's how he likes it. But when a beautiful and vivacious new library tech Anna (Emma Stone) starts working alongside him, Waldo has to prove that he can stand out in order to win her heart. He has to compete with the college's cocky and popular young football coach (Vampire Diaries' Paul Wesley) for Anna's affections and avoid getting fired by the school's disapproving chancellor (Henry Winkler), who just so happens to be Anna's father! Where's Waldo? Finding his way into your heart this August.

Recommended Reading

Me and Waldo and Everybody We Know

The Pitch: Kelly Reichardt directs this spare, introspective indie about a man simply called Waldo (Michael Shannon) drifting aimlessly and unnoticed through his life. Feeling lost, he wanders from city to city, country to country, trying to find... something. That something might be the lovelorn typist he has a passing flirtation with in Portland (Greta Gerwig), it might be the stray dog he befriends in Valparaiso, or it might be the mysterious and wise philosopher (Ken Watanabe) he meets in Tokyo. Where's Waldo? Where are any of us?

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.