I know there's been a lot of consternation the last few days over who will direct the Twilight sequel now that Catherine Hardwicke has been shown the door, but I'd hate for that important story to overshadow another equally monumental issue: the search for a director for the Alvin and the Chipmunks sequel.

Who can fill the shoes previously worn by cartoon-maker-turned-Chipmunk-wrangler Tim Hill? Who can take the original Chipmunk concept (one-off novelty-record artists), mix it with the modern sensibilities of the 2007 film (singing rodents terrorize human, occasionally eat each other's poop), and come up with something new, innovative, and lucrative?

I'm pleased to report that the search is over! According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox 2000 has hired Betty Thomas to helm the follow-up, which is being called -- I hope you're sitting down and have already poured yourself a drink -- Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel.

Looking at Thomas' past films, you can see how she's ideal for the job:
  • Dr. Dolittle -- worked with talking animals.
  • The Brady Bunch Movie -- worked with trios.
  • Howard Stern's Private Parts -- worked with rodents.
  • John Tucker Must Die -- comedy with a memorable title that nobody actually wanted to watch.
  • I Spy -- took a familiar product and reworked it so that it was unrecognizable and unappealing.
  • 28 Days -- oversaw Sandra Bullock playing an alcoholic, which can't be that different from directing Jason Lee to talk to a blue screen.
P.S. The squeakuel will have Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, and Jesse McCartney return as the voice of the Chipmunks, and the female Chipettes will be added, too. And it's really important to get different actors to play each of them because it's not like all the chipmunks sound exactly the same anyway.