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What I Heard: Jemaine Clement to Join ‘Harold and the Purple Crayon’

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Jemaine Clement, the Emmy-nominated, Grammy-winning, writer/actor/musician multihyphenate comedian extraordinaire, may have just boarded his next acting gig. Continuing his string of smash-hit projects (What We Do in the Shadows, Moana, The Lego Batman Movie), I have heard that Clement may be joining the cast of Harold and the Purple Crayon in a major role. We are currently treating this as a rumor since we would like to see further evidence to 100% confirm everything, but we do have confidence that this is the case.


Harold and the Purple Crayon is based on the iconic kids’ book by Crockett Johnson. In the book, Harold is a 4-year-old boy with a magic crayon which brings his drawings to life. Its imaginative charm has enraptured the world since 1955, leading to multiple sequels, an animated short film, an animated TV show, and countless parodies and references throughout pop culture. However, a live-action adaptation has never been done before.

Sony/Columbia Pictures have been working on the current project since 2010, with big names like Will Smith, Spike Jonze, and Steven Spielberg coming and going along the way.

Harold will mark the first live-action feature from Carlos Saldanha, who has previously directed animation classics like Ferdinand and Rio for Blue Sky Studios. Zachary Levi (Shazam!) is set to star, with Lil Rel Howery (Get Out, Free Guy) as the only other name known so far. No character assignments are known yet, though the film is expected to include the fantasy elements of the books, with Harold going on a “magical mission.”


If Clement’s wonderfully villainous, hilarious, and “shiny” performance voicing the giant and very vain crab Tamatoa in Moana is any indication, this is a terrific addition to the Harold and the Purple Crayon cast. 

Filming is set to begin shortly in Atlanta and continue through spring, aiming for a release date of January 27, 2023.

References: Deadline,

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Reviews, reading guides, and crazy theories. Obsessed with the Midnight Sons. Find me on Twitter @vinwriteswords!

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