Man, the fallout keeps rolling in for onetime Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash. Amid the allegations that he had sexual relationships with three underaged accusers, a flurry of lawsuits, and his formal resignation from Sesame Street after working on the show for 28 years, Clash is facing yet another major blow: Warner Bros has pulled the plug on his developing children's movie.
According to Vulture, Clash had been working on a new character for the studio over this past summer and fall. It wasn't clear if the movie would be live action or a mix of both live action and animation, but the movie would definitely “incorporate puppets."
In the wake of Clash's sex scandal, Warner Bros has completely nixed the project. It's bad news for Clash, but maybe even more of a bummer for kids -- based on the rumors, this movie sounded like it could have been fantastic.
A Vulture-acquired development document describing the movie project summarized the yet-untitled film in this way:
A ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ kind of movie about a kid and his stuffed animal that takes on a life of its own because of the child’s imagination.
Okay, yeah, you had me at Calvin and Hobbes. I love the concept, and with Clash's ability to bring a children's character to life, it sure sounds like this had a lot of potential. Warner Bros must've been slobbering over the merchandising potential for the movie -- after all, Sesame Street currently pulls in nearly $50 million in annual licensing revenue, thanks in large part to Elmo.
Warner Bros went so far as to put some high-profile producers on the developing project, but after Clash's scandal broke, the whole thing got round-filed. According to an insider, it's unlikely Clash will find any takers elsewhere in Hollywood:
After all that stuff happened, the studio was like, "We’re never going to mention this again."
Even after reading all the news that's fit to print (and plenty that's not) about Clash's accusers and his alleged actions, I have absolutely no idea what to think about Kevin Clash. I don't know what's true and what isn't, and I feel like it's damaging to all sides to even hedge guesses at this point.
But one thing's perfectly clear: his career in children's entertainment has been irrevocably damaged. It's too bad, because who knows what memorable contributions he had left to make.
Are you surprised that Warner Bros severed ties with Clash? What do you think about the movie idea that's now been scrapped?
Image via eyeonbooks/Flickr