If the Sunday morning Calvin and Hobbes strip wasn't one of the highlights of your week growing up, or if you haven't spent hours in front of one of cartoonist Bill Watterson's epic books of the stuffed tiger/boy duo, than you grew up a deprived life, and we can't help you past telling you to go, read one, as quickly as you can.
For those of you who did, great news: The long-overdue documentary about the cartoon was finally made: Dear Mr. Watterson, directed by one Joel Allen Schroeder. And now, the movie is going to be getting a proper release.
Gravitas and Submarine Deluxe will partner to release the pic in theaters and on VOD on November 15.
The movie features interviews with some fairly famous cartoonists (Berkeley Breathed of Bloom County, Bill Amend of Foxtrot, and Stephan Pastis of Pearls Before Swine) as well as Seth Green, among others. As Deadline explained, Watterson was famously protective of Calvin and Hobbes as an an intellectual property—there's not a ton out there on the matter of Watterson or the strip, which is why the movie's so exciting. There's a catch, however: No Bill Watterson.
As Schroeder once explained in an interview about the documentary as it was touring the festival circuit, this isn't because he tried to contact the notoriously press-shy Watterson—who's basically done one real interview in the last decade—but because he didn't want to:
I'm afraid there may be people who are very disappointed to find that we have not tried to contact Bill Watterson. On the other hand, I know there are people who really appreciate this choice. There was a brief time when we thought maybe, just maybe, we could get his participation in the film, but that was very brief. I decided that we would not pursue Watterson or his family for the film, as he's made it very clear that he prefers his privacy. Bill Watterson is aware of the project, however, and I know that if he wanted to, he knows how to reach me. The film is about the impact of his strip, not his life as a cartoonist.
It's a ballsy choice, but definitely one with some artistic integrity behind it, and in a sense, maybe makes the movie a little more appealing: If they can make a movie about Calvin and Hobbes without Watterson's involvement, then it's probably going to be fairly decent.
Until Dear Mr. Watterson gets the full release, here's the trailer, to hold you over:
[via Deadline Hollywood]