After two live-action/CGI comedy adventures, everyone's favorite cat Garfield is heading back to the big screen, only this time, the reboot will be a fully CG-animated movie. Alcon Entertainment made the announcement today after it secured the exclusive movie rights to the comic strip created by Jim Davis. Jim Davis is attached to the movie as an executive producer.
Alcon is hoping to launch a new CG-animated franchise based on the grumpy feline who loves lasagna and hates Mondays. No story details have been released at this time. And it's doubtful Bill Murray will return to reprise his voice role as Garfield.
The comedian and actor originally took on the role of Garfield in the 2004 movie, thinking it was written by one of the Coen brothers. He would return for the sequel Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties in 2006, though he was prone to bad mouthing the movie and the process of being involved with it in the press. Both movies were a hit, the first of which grossed $200 million worldwide. The property has also been a merchandising cash cow for years.
That said, the initial report from Deadline claims new merchandise based on the movie could prove to be a challenge. They don't give a specific reason for that being the case. John Cohen, who produced the recent hit Angry Birds The Movie and the Despicable Me franchise teamed up with Steven P. Wegner to bring Garfield to Alcon. They will both serve as producers, alongside Alcon co-CEOs Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove. Bridget McMeel is executive producing alongside Jim Davis. Said Johnson and Kosove said in a joint statement.
"Jim Davis's creation has been an international sensation for all ages for decades, and we are thrilled to bring an animated Garfield feature to the big screen."
The Garfield comic strip debuted in June 1978, and follows a lazy cynical cat and his love-lorn owner Jon Arbuckel and fellow pet, Odie the dog. The strip has appeared in over 41 national newspapers and boasts a readership of 260 million. Garfield holds the current record for being the most widely syndicated comic strip in the world, even beating the Peanuts.