By Jerry Beck | Animation Scoop October 12, 2013 at 8:00PM
Clearly the stellar box office grosses for Despicable Me 2 are having an effect on Universal's future animation plans. Veteran animator Bill Kopp (Eek! The Cat, Schnookums and Meat, Dan Vs., etc) has just announced on his Facebook page that he has been tapped to revive Woody Woodpecker for Universal Pictures.
"It's official folks. Universal Pictures has hired me to put the Woody back in the Woodpecker! Hooray!! There will be 3 stories woven together into a feature length cartoon - plus a 6-7 minute short that we will put into theaters hopefully."
Walter Lantz originally produced Woody Woodpecker in theatrical shorts for Universal (and one season for United Artists) between 1940 and 1972. The character made a cameo in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) and starred in Fox Kid's The New Woody Woodpecker Show in 1999. The character has long been a mascot at the Universal theme parks.
A new Woody Woodpecker feature was first announced two years ago by Illumination Entertainment, then developing the film with co-writers John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky - who were planning to "modernize the character for contemporary audiences". Kopp has vowed on Facebook to return Woody to his original and proper insanity.
It sounds like the Woodpecker revival is finally on the right track.