Grumpy Cat, the feline that became the star of internet memes because of her sour puss (pun intended), is headed for Hollywood, thanks to Ben Lashes, a Los Angeles agent for internet cats.
This past week, Lashes (34) helped negotiate the sale of a film option based on Grumpy Cat’s persona to Broken Road Productions, the production company behind the 2011 film Jack and Jill that starred Adam Sandler. Terms of the one-picture deal involving Grumpy Cat – whose real name is Tardar Sauce – have not been disclosed, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The newspaper did say, however, that the Bundesen family of Morristown, Arizona – the owners of Tardar Sauce – have earned a low six-figure sum off their pet thus far, excluding the film deal. Lashes’ take is about 20pc, the newspaper added.
When Lashes told his curmudgeonly client she was Hollywood-bound, she looked bored, the paper reported.
“She hates movies,” Lashes said.
Lashes has also struck another deal for Grumpy Cat, with Grenade Beverage LLC. The deal will involve the creation and distribution of a range of Grumpy Cat coffee-in-cans and bottled beverages.
Lashes works by keeping an eye out for up-and-coming internet stars of the feline variety. He will then contact the pet’s owner and offer to strategise ways to prolong, protect and monestise – without overexposing – the cat’s fame.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Lashes said he operates by thinking in terms of what Walt Disney would do if he created Mickey Mouse and the character went viral on YouTube.