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Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson says there will never be a big screen adaptation of his comic

Oct. 17, 2013by: Alex Maidy

I remember as a kid always going to the Sunday paper and reading the full color comic strips like The Far Side and Calvin and Hobbes. Since both of those strips ended, I rarely read the funnies any more but I still find myself looking back over Bill Watterson's collected works. Calvin and Hobbes transcends the comic strip and is something much more special.

A question often asked is if we will ever see a Calvin and Hobbes movie. In a recent interview with Mental Floss magazine, Watterson was asked about his opinion on the animated works of Pixar and whether he thinks a Calvin and Hobbes movie could work.

The visual sophistication of Pixar blows me away, but I have zero interest in animating Calvin and Hobbes. If youve ever compared a film to a novel its based on, you know the novel gets bludgeoned. Its inevitable, because different media have different strengths and needs, and when you make a movie, the movies needs get served. As a comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes works exactly the way I intended it to. Theres no upside for me in adapting it.

I am sure the man has been asked hundreds of times and offered boatloads of money for the rights to Calvin and Hobbes. You have to respect his desire to keep his creation the way he intended it no matter how badly we would love to see the characters brought to life on the big screen. Unless he has a stipulation in his will, if a Calvin and Hobbes movie is going to happen it would likely be after Watterson's passing.

Still, at least fans on the Internet can keep our hope alive with videos like this:

Extra Tidbit: What is your favorite Calvin and Hobbes strip? This one is mine.
Source: Mental Floss

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+16
4:42PM on 10/17/2013
Keep it away from Hollywood. They'll find a way to screw up
Keep it away from Hollywood. They'll find a way to screw up
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5:39PM on 10/17/2013
This probably won't come as a huge shock to anyone familiar with Watterson's views on licensing, but it's good to know he hasn't changed in that regard.
As for the Extra Tidbit, I don't think I could narrow it down to the top 10, let alone my single favorite strip. Calvin and Hobbes was truly brilliant.
This probably won't come as a huge shock to anyone familiar with Watterson's views on licensing, but it's good to know he hasn't changed in that regard.
As for the Extra Tidbit, I don't think I could narrow it down to the top 10, let alone my single favorite strip. Calvin and Hobbes was truly brilliant.
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7:02PM on 10/17/2013

Good, dont make it

I have had a hobbes tattoo for about a decade now and still read the old collection books Ive had for 20 years when I'm down in the dumps. Making a movie would destroy everything the strip stood for. If your over the age of 20 I highly suggest reading the material, its literally zen on every page and makes you wonder about the materialistic things in your life. Timeless!
I have had a hobbes tattoo for about a decade now and still read the old collection books Ive had for 20 years when I'm down in the dumps. Making a movie would destroy everything the strip stood for. If your over the age of 20 I highly suggest reading the material, its literally zen on every page and makes you wonder about the materialistic things in your life. Timeless!
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7:04PM on 10/17/2013
Shit I forgot there is a peanuts movie coming out next year as well. Im curious to see how that one turns out .
Shit I forgot there is a peanuts movie coming out next year as well. Im curious to see how that one turns out .
9:13AM on 10/18/2013
I love Calvin and Hobbes and I think not everything has to be turned into a movie.
I love Calvin and Hobbes and I think not everything has to be turned into a movie.
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9:25PM on 10/17/2013
I think that's the way it should be. Part of the charm and the joy of Calvin and Hobbes was the medium in which it was presented. That's not to say a feature film will be terrible, but I think it's best to respect Bill Watterson's wishes. This is my favourite Calvin and Hobbes strip: [link]
I think that's the way it should be. Part of the charm and the joy of Calvin and Hobbes was the medium in which it was presented. That's not to say a feature film will be terrible, but I think it's best to respect Bill Watterson's wishes. This is my favourite Calvin and Hobbes strip: [link]
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+3
11:51AM on 10/18/2013
thank God for this brave decision. nowadays people sucumb too quickly to the possibility of that quick cash.
this was not one of those cases :) thank you mr bill watterson for keeping a comic classic alive in our minds like it should be :)
thank God for this brave decision. nowadays people sucumb too quickly to the possibility of that quick cash.
this was not one of those cases :) thank you mr bill watterson for keeping a comic classic alive in our minds like it should be :)
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6:52AM on 10/18/2013

"...no matter how badly we would love to see his characters brought to life on the big screen.." ????

That would be "not badly at all". Like Waterson, I see Calvin and Hobbes working exactly perfectly as a comic strip. Four panels: Setup, Followup, Twist, Punchline. His writing and drawing are exactly right for a comic strip and I have zero interest in a movie adaptation.
That would be "not badly at all". Like Waterson, I see Calvin and Hobbes working exactly perfectly as a comic strip. Four panels: Setup, Followup, Twist, Punchline. His writing and drawing are exactly right for a comic strip and I have zero interest in a movie adaptation.
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+3
5:33PM on 10/17/2013

How do you pick just one!?

This was the one that sprung to mind first: [link][link]26H_Trains%2C_Planes%2C_%27n[link]
This was the one that sprung to mind first: [link][link]26H_Trains%2C_Planes%2C_%27n[link]
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5:35PM on 10/17/2013
So that didn't work. It's the one with the plane, the train and the tectonic plate.
So that didn't work. It's the one with the plane, the train and the tectonic plate.
5:18PM on 10/17/2013

my favorite C+H

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5:31PM on 10/17/2013
I love that one so much I use 'impenetrable fog of academia' as a realised oral missive in each twenty four hour cyclical period.
I love that one so much I use 'impenetrable fog of academia' as a realised oral missive in each twenty four hour cyclical period.
11:41AM on 10/18/2013

Good Call!!!

It is really nice to see that not everything can be bought. Too many movies are made for just cash grabs. Not doing a movie, because a person feels his original media is the best format is amazing!
It is really nice to see that not everything can be bought. Too many movies are made for just cash grabs. Not doing a movie, because a person feels his original media is the best format is amazing!
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5:16AM on 10/18/2013
Over the Hedge is a funny little comic strip. Its animated adaptation, however, is unremarkable and boring. God forbid the same thing happen to Calvin & Hobbes.
Over the Hedge is a funny little comic strip. Its animated adaptation, however, is unremarkable and boring. God forbid the same thing happen to Calvin & Hobbes.
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4:07AM on 10/18/2013
This is good news, having a long lasting fan base is not enough of a reason to make a movie. If we got a Calvin and Hobbs movie on par with Garfield abominations of a movie, the stupid Alvin and The Chipmunks. Then we got Scooby Doo and Yogi Beat. Smurfs if they count.... Never the less my point is I'd rather the legacy it has ends and can be remembered for its writing and animation and not given the Hollywood treatment like the examples listed above.
This is good news, having a long lasting fan base is not enough of a reason to make a movie. If we got a Calvin and Hobbs movie on par with Garfield abominations of a movie, the stupid Alvin and The Chipmunks. Then we got Scooby Doo and Yogi Beat. Smurfs if they count.... Never the less my point is I'd rather the legacy it has ends and can be remembered for its writing and animation and not given the Hollywood treatment like the examples listed above.
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3:30AM on 10/18/2013
Sadly, I'm sure George Orwell thought the same thing, when he wrote 1984.
Sadly, I'm sure George Orwell thought the same thing, when he wrote 1984.
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10:27PM on 10/17/2013

In other words...

"There'll totally be a C&H movie regardless of what I say, think, or do."
"There'll totally be a C&H movie regardless of what I say, think, or do."
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10:25PM on 10/17/2013

Bill Watterson is a man of principle and I respect that

He said all that he wanted to say with CALVIN & HOBBES and he wants to leave it as it is. Here's what he told an interviewer in 2010: "This isn't as hard to understand as people try to make it. By the end of ten years, I'd said pretty much everything I had come there to say. It's always better to leave the party early. If I had rolled along with the strip's popularity and repeated myself for another five, ten, or twenty years, the people now "grieving" for CALVIN & HOBBES would be wishing me
He said all that he wanted to say with CALVIN & HOBBES and he wants to leave it as it is. Here's what he told an interviewer in 2010: "This isn't as hard to understand as people try to make it. By the end of ten years, I'd said pretty much everything I had come there to say. It's always better to leave the party early. If I had rolled along with the strip's popularity and repeated myself for another five, ten, or twenty years, the people now "grieving" for CALVIN & HOBBES would be wishing me dead and cursing newspapers for running tedious, ancient strips like mine instead of acquiring fresher, livelier talent. And I'd be agreeing with them. I think some of the reason CALVIN & HOBBES still finds an audience today is because I chose not to run the wheels off it. I've never regretted stopping when I did."
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8:40PM on 10/17/2013
I still read Calvin and Hobbes every morning. I love the idea of them getting more exposure to bring Calvin and Hobbes more fans. The strip at its core is about exploring, imagination and childlike curiosity. What happened to Waterson that he has lost his sense of adventure?
I still read Calvin and Hobbes every morning. I love the idea of them getting more exposure to bring Calvin and Hobbes more fans. The strip at its core is about exploring, imagination and childlike curiosity. What happened to Waterson that he has lost his sense of adventure?
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+1
5:51PM on 10/17/2013

C+H were great

But i was always a Garfield find of guy myself. And we all know how that movie adaption went. Oi vay.
But i was always a Garfield find of guy myself. And we all know how that movie adaption went. Oi vay.
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7:42AM on 10/18/2013
I always thought Calvin and Hobbes would have made for a great Saturday morning cartoon, but that's just my take. I can see his point on not wanting to see his comic turned into something that he never intended it to be. But really, has he never seen a Pixar movie, they have great writers that could bring that little old comic to life in the best way possible.
I always thought Calvin and Hobbes would have made for a great Saturday morning cartoon, but that's just my take. I can see his point on not wanting to see his comic turned into something that he never intended it to be. But really, has he never seen a Pixar movie, they have great writers that could bring that little old comic to life in the best way possible.
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+0
12:48AM on 10/18/2013

seems rather cynical

maybe he's played this game too many times and has seen too much crap in pitches for a calvin and hobbes movie, but as a lifelong fan of the comic strip, i would love to see a movie version (done right). i'm glad he's not in it for the money or anything, but i hope he changes his mind on "zero interest" if the right opportunity were to come along.

maybe he's played this game too many times and has seen too much crap in pitches for a calvin and hobbes movie, but as a lifelong fan of the comic strip, i would love to see a movie version (done right). i'm glad he's not in it for the money or anything, but i hope he changes his mind on "zero interest" if the right opportunity were to come along.

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10:58PM on 10/17/2013
Calvin and Hobbes is my all time favorite comic strip, and I'm happy it won't get made into a movie. It doesn't need to be. Odds are Hollywood would make it too kid-friendly, or miss the heart of the comic for comedy, etc. It's happened many times before.
Calvin and Hobbes is my all time favorite comic strip, and I'm happy it won't get made into a movie. It doesn't need to be. Odds are Hollywood would make it too kid-friendly, or miss the heart of the comic for comedy, etc. It's happened many times before.
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10:19PM on 10/17/2013

Pixar would do a great job.

His argument is kind of invalid by default, because the very concept of different mediums means that different elements can be gained from different angles. It's not about the medium itself, it's about the execution. The "novel always gets bludgeoned"? Okay, tell that to The Godfather, JAWS (the book actually wasn't nearly as great as the film, btw), Goodfellas, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Schindler's List or To Kill a Mockingbird. Watterson created a brilliant comic strip but he's always
His argument is kind of invalid by default, because the very concept of different mediums means that different elements can be gained from different angles. It's not about the medium itself, it's about the execution. The "novel always gets bludgeoned"? Okay, tell that to The Godfather, JAWS (the book actually wasn't nearly as great as the film, btw), Goodfellas, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Schindler's List or To Kill a Mockingbird. Watterson created a brilliant comic strip but he's always come across as being a bit stuck up his own ass, and I think in spite of what he may try to claim, ultimately his dismissal of Calvin and Hobbes licensing has little to do with how fans will perceive it (as a 'raping of childhood' yadda yadda) and more to do with his own issues. Maybe when he was a kid he was a huge fan of a book or something and it got turned into a shitty film and it scarred him for life. But I'm sorry, this specific reasoning is ignorant - nothing more, nothing less - and easily refuted by the many masterpieces of various mediums that have been produced outside their original contexts.
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9:51AM on 10/18/2013

Meh

Wish they made car stickers where you get to pee on Calvin.
Wish they made car stickers where you get to pee on Calvin.
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6:59PM on 10/17/2013
I'm more of a Blondie and that Bailey G. I. dude fan.
I'm more of a Blondie and that Bailey G. I. dude fan.
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-11
7:10PM on 10/17/2013
I'm fine with Watterson not wanting a feature made or anything but NOTHING else by anyone anytime ever?!? I don't know. His creations obviously have brought a lot of love and joy to millions of people, why not AT LEAST consider the possibilities of a couple of legit enterprises with the characters, instead of coming off like a curmudgeon of sorts, and always so quick to talk about suing people. Just relax, dude. We love your characters, why not do something that would bring more GOOD into this
I'm fine with Watterson not wanting a feature made or anything but NOTHING else by anyone anytime ever?!? I don't know. His creations obviously have brought a lot of love and joy to millions of people, why not AT LEAST consider the possibilities of a couple of legit enterprises with the characters, instead of coming off like a curmudgeon of sorts, and always so quick to talk about suing people. Just relax, dude. We love your characters, why not do something that would bring more GOOD into this world? I respect the fact that he has the right to his decisions, of course, but I think his attitude is actually quite selfish.
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8:28PM on 10/17/2013
This is the classic argument of "if someone makes/invents a product should he keep it for himself or share it with everyone." Nows since we're not talking about inventing something like the steam engine or penicillin (something that benefits humanity as a whole) I dont find it at all that selfish that he wants to keep his property the way he had intended it. Its not like he didnt share his idea with everyone, he did. He did it in the format he intended it too. Yes, his comics bring joy and
This is the classic argument of "if someone makes/invents a product should he keep it for himself or share it with everyone." Nows since we're not talking about inventing something like the steam engine or penicillin (something that benefits humanity as a whole) I dont find it at all that selfish that he wants to keep his property the way he had intended it. Its not like he didnt share his idea with everyone, he did. He did it in the format he intended it too. Yes, his comics bring joy and entertainment to everyone but there are thousands of other cartoons that do the same. I'm not knocking anyone who wants more Calvin and Hobbs (I sure do) but if the person who created it doesnt want his creative idea to be touched by others I think we should all respect that.

I think it also comes down to what someones personal beliefs are on this subject as well. Some people want to see their legacy live on through others but others dont. Its an interesting subject that can be talked in lengths.
9:01PM on 10/17/2013
Seriously? Old curmudgeon? Are you just trolling with this comment?

It's called fucking Garfield. It's called Peanuts selling MET Life Insurance. It's called taking something that was special and raping the hell out of it for profit.

Making plush dolls of Hobbes is NOT bringing more good into the world. It's dlluting the magic of it. It's making it not special if every single person in the universe has a Hobbes doll sitting on their couch. Watterson has already said he could be a
Seriously? Old curmudgeon? Are you just trolling with this comment?

It's called fucking Garfield. It's called Peanuts selling MET Life Insurance. It's called taking something that was special and raping the hell out of it for profit.

Making plush dolls of Hobbes is NOT bringing more good into the world. It's dlluting the magic of it. It's making it not special if every single person in the universe has a Hobbes doll sitting on their couch. Watterson has already said he could be a multimillionaire with all the merch deals that have come his way. To turn that down is not curmudgeonly, it's principled. Everyone who ever read Calvin & Hobbes wanted to have a Hobbes figure; the fact that you can't have one just makes it all the more special.

So weird that people can be fans of Calvin and Hobbes and not understand this.
10:54PM on 10/17/2013
3rdrate, thanks for using those EXTREME examples to make your point (Garfield and Peanuts). Nowhere do I say that he should TOTALLY SELL OUT and do everything that's offered to him. I'm completely against that as well. I just think his 100% negative attitude toward _anything_ in regards to his creation is a little selfish. I don't think it hurts for him to partner with an extremely legit company to ONLY sell the 2 plush dolls, for example, and then give all the profits to the needy or
3rdrate, thanks for using those EXTREME examples to make your point (Garfield and Peanuts). Nowhere do I say that he should TOTALLY SELL OUT and do everything that's offered to him. I'm completely against that as well. I just think his 100% negative attitude toward _anything_ in regards to his creation is a little selfish. I don't think it hurts for him to partner with an extremely legit company to ONLY sell the 2 plush dolls, for example, and then give all the profits to the needy or something. Not everything is about self-serving profits. There's a LOT of good that he can do in the world with his power. Instead, he has chosen to "sit' on his creation and not let anybody play with it either. Like I said initially, he HAS THE RIGHT to do that and I respect his decision..... but I just don't like it and I think a middle ground can easily be found. My 2 cents.
11:28PM on 10/17/2013
Whoa, whoa, whoa...did 3rdrate actually have the audacity to refer to the man himself, the one and only JB as a troll!?!...I'm calling you to repentance 3rdrate!
Whoa, whoa, whoa...did 3rdrate actually have the audacity to refer to the man himself, the one and only JB as a troll!?!...I'm calling you to repentance 3rdrate!
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