I am not sure if it is a good thing or a bad thing that I remember Manimal, but I do remember it and I am not sure I actually liked it. As a kid is was just quite fascinating seeing a man turning into different animals I guess, but all those memories are about to come flooding back as a feature length action comedy is to be made of the 80’s TV series.
Deadline reported the news:
Sony Pictures Animation has set Jimmy Miller’s Mosaic and Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Gary Sanchez Productions on Manimal, the feature based on the cult 1980s TV show about a man who fights crime using his ability to morph into animals. Miller, Ferrell, and McKay will produce along with original series co-creator Glen A. Larson, and Key & Peele EPs Jay Martel and Ian Roberts already have been tapped to write.
The original 1983 series starred Simon MacCorkindale as Dr. Jonathan Chase, a dashing and wealthy man raised in Africa who was also “master of the secrets that divide man from animal.” It was cancelled after eight episodes, only to live on in the hearts of a devoted cult fandom (flash back with a clip from Manimal below). Sony Pictures Animation’s live-action/animation hybrid will reinvent that concept as an action-comedy with heavy visual effects and animated elements. SPA President of Production Michelle Raimo Kouyate and SVP Michael Lachance are overseeing for the studio.
After finishing Anchorman 2, Ferrell and McKay zeroed in on the Manimal project as a prime addition to the growing Gary Sanchez lineup that includes TV and film projects and the new female-oriented Gloria Sanchez offshoot. “I think it’s right down our alley, it’s what we do,” said McKay. “It’s tongue-in-cheek and has an action component, but overall it’s a comedy.” Miller, Ferrell, and McKay will next hunt for a director.
“Like The Catcher In The Rye or The Sound And The Fury, Manimal has always been one of those elusive projects every producer dreams of taking to the silver screen,” said McKay. “I know the movie will be funny and entertaining, but will it be the first film to win a Pulitzer? We’ll just have to see.”