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Informal Pitch: A Gritty, Live Action Reboot of Nickelodeon's Rugrats

After years of financial hardship and mooching off his more successful brother, mild-mannered inventor Stu Pickles (James McAvoy) is finally a happy man. He’s married to a beautiful schoolteacher (Margot Robbie), sells his products out of toy stores across the country, and has recently brought an infant son, Tommy, into the world. It seems like the perfect life. Idyllic.

Until it all comes to an abrupt end when, one quiet afternoon, Tommy disappears from his playpen. And not just him: five of his little playmates also vanish without a trace.

Police reports are filed amidst the debris of shattered friendships. But as the detectives begin to suspect the distraught parents of more than just negligence and the news media becomes increasingly inquisitive—and then invasive—Stu lashes out at his wife, blaming her for the debacle… if only to alleviate his own feelings of guilt. Can his marriage, his career, and his sanity survive the strain?

An intimate glimpse into the lives of the adults as everyone’s beloved rascals go on their magical, imagination-fueled adventures.

[Originally written March 1, 2017.]

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