The Co-Creator of ‘Portlandia’ Is Making a ‘Sesame Street’ Movie
For years after the release of The Matrix, I would sometimes wonder, usually when within the vicinity of a spoon, if we really lived in a simulation of reality. In 2018, I am convinced: This is the real world. No machine could create a reality this weird.
Exhibit A: The news, via Variety, that Warner Bros. has brought on Jonathan Krisel, co-creator of Baskets and the sketch comedy series Portlandia, to direct a Sesame Street movie. Apparently, the notion of a big-screen Sesame adaptation took root around the time that the series began airing on HBO after decades at PBS:
After spending years on PBS, Sesame Workshop, signed a five-season deal in 2015 with HBO, the sister company of Warner Bros., and the WB quickly began developing a film as a companion to the TV show. Levy has been working on the project since 2012 when 20th Century Fox held the rights. With Krisel now on board, the pic seems the closest it’s ever been to a greenlight.
There have been two previous Sesame feature films: 1985’s Follow That Bird about Big Bird on a road trip, and 1999’s The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, about the adventures of Elmo in Grouchland. Neither was hugely successful — both grossed about $12 million in U.S. theaters — perhaps because Sesame Street is a ubiquitous component of the television world, and it is sometimes difficult to convince people to pay for a product they’re used to consuming for free at home.
But a movie with the words ‘sesame’ and ‘street’ in the title may have enough brand recognition to move the needle, especially if Krisel finds a way to use all of the show’s characters in a compelling fashion. As a viewer who has spent many hours with Sesame Street in recent years thanks to my daughters: I hope Chris Knowings gets a big, juicy part because he’s the best.