The Arizona sourpuss who has become a major Web celeb will soon be hitting the big screen.
Ben Lashes, talent manager in Los Angeles and Grumpy Cat’s agent, has negotiated the movie deal with Broken Road Productions, the production company behind Adam Sandler’s 2011 film “Jack and Jill.”
Broken Road’s Todd Garner and Sean Robins, and Grumpy Cat’s reps (manager Ben Lashes and rep Al Hassas) have teamed up to produce and assemble a package for a Garfield-like feature film with the famous frowning feline at the center, reports Deadline.
Grumpy Cat, who will star, will speak in the movie. Will Ferrell and Jack Black are attached to appear in the film, too.
“We think we can build a big family comedy around this character,” Garner told Deadline.
Unsurprisingly, Grumpy Cat was unimpressed with her new gig. “She hates movies,” said Lashes, her talent manager.
Mr. Lashes became the cat’s representative in October. He says he is trying to help the Bundesens capitalize on the cat’s fame without overexposing it.
A mixed breed owned by Arizona resident Tabatha Bundesen, Grumpy Cat’s real name is Tardar Sauce.
The dour-faced kitty first found acclaim after a family member posted a picture of her on Reddit last fall, prompting users to photoshop captions such as, “I am disappointed by your lack of sales” and “I hope all of your 2013 dreams end up shattering like glass on the rocks of reality.”
Grumpy will also be coming to New York this week to promote her upcoming book, Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book: Disgruntled Tips and Activities Designed to Put a Frown on Your Face, at BookExpo America.
Mr. Lashes also has forged a deal with Grenade Beverage LLC to create and distribute a line of Grumpy Cat coffee-in-cans and bottled beverages. Excluding the movie deal, the Bundesens have earned a low-six-figure sum off the cat thus far, Mr. Bundesen says. Mr. Lashes’s take is about 20%, clients say.
In March, Grumpy Cat was deemed the star of South by Southwest-i by news outlets. Grumpy Cat received more social mentions in four days than anyone else at SXSWi.
The cat’s official Facebook has more than 930,000 likes and a weekly reach well over 2 million. The official YouTube Channel has over 120,000 subscribers and over 20 million views. Grumpy Cat stars in a collection of webisodes in partnership with Friskies and the Will Kitty Play With It series.
Grumpy Cat merchandise sells at Walmart, Hot Topic, Thinkgeek and many other retail stores. Licenses include Chronicle Books, Gund, Ripple Junction, Buckle Down, T Line, ATNY, Ultra Pro, 99 Cent Brains and more.
According to the LA Times, Grumpy Cat is not the only feline enjoying big-screen treatment of late – “Lil Bub and Friendz,” a documentary about a runt kitten born to a feral mother, premiered at the Tribeca Film festival in April.
Also there is “Santa Claws,” a movie about kittens who deliver the Christmas presents when Santa has an allergy attack, was for sale at the Cannes Film Festival market this month.