Warner Bros. is reportedly developing a Sesame Street movie, and Anne Hathaway is on the short list to star.
Hathaway is in the very early stages of talks to take on a role in a live-action Sesame Street movie, according to a report by Collider. The project would likely be a feature-length musical, directed by the co-creator of Portlandia, Jonathan Krisel.
According to insiders, Hathaway would take on the role of Sally, a little girl who appeared in the very first episode of Sesame Street in 1969. At the time, Gordon Robinson gave Sally a tour of the neighborhood, introducing her to the iconic puppets that have now delighted generations of children.
It seems likely, therefore, that Hathaway would play an older version of Sally who revisits the playful world of her past. However they do it, the movie would probably have to shuffle Hathaway in and out of the neighborhood within the film, or else children will expect to see her on the show in upcoming episodes.
Hathaway actually appeared on Sesame Street once before. In the 2007 holiday special Elmo's Christmas Countdown, she sang a rendition of "I Want a Snuffleupagus for Christmas" along with Big Bird and Snuffy himself.
The movie is reportedly a collaboration between Sesame Workshop itself and Warner Bros. In addition, MGM has a financial stake in it. The movie has been on the back burner for years, going back to 2012, when 20th Century Fox owned the rights to the characters. Now that details are finally emerging, it is safe to assume that the premiere is within reach.
Sesame Street moved to Warner Bros.' HBO in 2015. The premium cable channel has the rights to stream new episodes exclusively for nine months before they are handed over to PBS stations. In addition, the network's HBO Go and HBO Now services are the only places to stream the entire series. While this arrangement saved Sesame Street from financial decline, it is clear that Warner Bros. expects more out of the deal.
At the moment, Warner Bros.' major family films are limited to the slow-moving LEGO franchise and J.K. Rowling's new Fantastic Beasts films. Sesame Street would make a great addition to this slate as a universally recognizable franchise. However, it may be a hard nut to crack, as Sesame Street's charm often derives from its simplicity.
Only time will tell. Hathaway has still not signed a deal on the film, and a Sesame Street movie is still in the writing phase.