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Little Miss Sunshcaterpillar

I assume by now everyone’s seen the new trailers for Where the Wild Things Are and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs — two of your favorite childhood books unless you grew up Communist. If you’re like me you thought, How could they take these amazing novels and destroy them by inserting a new central character and making them all quirky and sentimental? Here’s the thing: I see their point because I’m currently adapting another childhood favorite — The Very Hungry Caterpillar. In the process I’ve realized I, too, could spice things up with a little indie drama. Here’s what I have so far:

Little Miss Sunshcaterpillar

Act I
Jesse the caterpillar (Jesse Eisenberg), who has Tourette’s with a touch of Asperger’s, is going to die before he’s 18 from a mysterious disease he contracted back when his parents were on a mating expedition in Mexico and he was just a gleam in his father’s (Jeffrey Tambor) 20,000 eyes. In a nod to the book’s fanatical fanbase, he consumes an apple (Mena Suvari). Then he meets the girl caterpillar of his dreams (Amy Adams), but she blows him off because she’s already a butterfly, so he’s totally jealous when the jock caterpillar (Gael García Bernal), who’s NOT also already a butterfly, woos her down to the crik and they go swimming in just their thoraxes.

Act II
He and his family set out on a journey down the tree in their sap-van, along with his dysfunctional stepdad (Kevin James, voiced by Jeff Garlin), his dyslexic half-brother (Hilary Swank), and his late grandfather’s corpse (Jerry Orbach). When their van runs out of sap, he’s forced to enter a lip-synching competition to earn money, despite not having lips. In a heart-to-heart with his mother (Fran Drescher), he realizes she was always absent because HER mother (Dame Judy Dench) was always out proboscising with married dude butterflies, and was later killed by a VW Bug hood ornament, ironically enough. He meets a chick (literally) (Jessica Alba) who plays him a little ditty on her mouth harp, then the unlikely pair get high and she tries to eat him.

Jesse and the chick start rehearsing an important avant-garde theater piece directed by Peter Saarsgaaard (John Malkovich) that could save the town’s (Vancouver) historic waffle factory. They beak/mouthpart tenderly and he realizes he can’t forget her but he can’t be with her. Jesse has a dream where they all join a grocery co-op and own a golden retriever (courtesy of Pixar), but he wakes up remembering that most dogs still discriminate against caterpillars. He molts out of boredom and can’t decide whether to watch Oprah (cameo) or Kings, but settles on Kings (Sundays on NBC) because of the logo.

Unfortunately, just as he’s about to find out what happened to his real dad, someone (Hannah Montana or the other one) steps on him, because I want to go to Sundance.

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