In less than two weeks, a musical led by a singing and dancing crocodile will be out in the world. Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile is a live-action/animation hybrid family film that brings the beloved character to life after being introduced in the 1960s in a two-dimensional children’s storybook. When CinemaBlend spoke to the directors behind the 2022 book-to-movie adaptation, Will Speck and Josh Gordon shared a sweet reason why they wanted to take Lyle’s story to the big screen.
Alongside a handful of other outlets, CinemaBlend had the opportunity to visit Sony Pictures recently and preview footage from the film and chat with the filmmakers. When I asked the directors about their inspiration for the flick, Speck said this:
The Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile book and its predecessor, The House on East 88th Street, were written by Bernard Waber, who initially launched his career as a commercial artist before getting into penning and illustrating books. Waber reportedly had three children as he worked at the art department of Condé Nast Publications and wrote in his downtime, partially as a way to connect with the longing he had regarding being away from his home and children. The directors of the upcoming big fall movie were inspired by this element of the film’s origins so much that they wanted to helm the big screen version. Co-director Josh Gordon also said this:
Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile sounds like it has good vibes, especially for families. So far, from what I got to see from the movie, it’ll be a great pick for fans of musicals. The filmmakers enlisted Benj Pasek & Justin Paul to make it a full-blown musical after the composing pair notably worked on La La Land and The Greatest Showman. You can see a bit of the movie’s musical numbers with the Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile trailer.
The movie stars Shawn Mendes as Lyle, following his success as a musician, who has put out four hit-making studio albums at the age of 24. As the filmmakers also told us during the Sony set visit, the croc inherited Mendes’ personality, describing both him and his character as a “gentle genius.” Alongside Mendes, the movie stars Javier Bardem as Hector P. Valenti, Lyle’s owner, as well as Constance Wu, Winslow Fegley and Scoot McNairy as the Primm family, who are key to the movie’s storyline.
Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile hits theaters on October 7 against David O. Russell’s Amsterdam and more spooky offerings throughout the month. Get to know even more about the movie here on CinemaBlend.
YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.
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