TAMPA, Fla. — ‘Marcel The Shell With Shoes On’ will soon enter movie theaters as a feature film.
The wide-eyed, stop-motion mollusk took the Internet by storm in 2010 – becoming an unexpected YouTube sensation.
Only months prior, actress Jenny Slate and now ex-husband Dean Fleischer-Camp had developed the character around a high-pitched voice Slate jokingly used inside a crowded hotel room at a wedding. With household items, Dean later glued together a physical Marcel to match the voice. The rest is history.
The first homemade video episode of what became a three-part miniseries garnered more than 32 million views on YouTube. The heavily improvised video is less than three-and-a-half minutes long. Yet, its light-hearted, humorous protagonist was the perfect character for the piece to go viral.
“Marcel The Shell With Shoes On has become the biggest small star of the comedy world on the web,” former NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams said at the time.
The creation led to media interviews and appearances, including on the TODAY Show and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Two books were written.
Through it all, the now-former couple retained ownership and found inspiration. They amicably divorced but continued to collaborate on a character they both cared deeply about.
As the New York Times noted, Slate and Camp turned down TV show offers and sponsorship deals that would have been easy paydays when they were struggling as artists. Instead, the newspaper says they were protective of Marcel, kept their heads down and spent a decade turning the unlikely viral star into the center of a 90-minute mockumentary.
To the pleasant surprise of attendees, the full-length movie premiered last year at the Telluride Film Festival. Even then, though, much of the public was unaware their favorite mollusk was about to take them back in time – perhaps to a happier, gentler place.
Independent entertainment company A24, the same studio behind 2017 Oscars Best Picture “Moonlight,” dropped the official trailer this week on YouTube – the same platform that first made Marcel a global phenomenon. This time, however, the one-eyed shell will be appearing on the big screen.
Marcel The Shell With Shoes On – the heartwarming movie version – will be released in theaters on June 24, 2022.
You can watch the trailer below. For 10 Tampa Bay viewers, there will be a familiar face – veteran CBS News journalist Lesley Stahl.