Alcon Entertainment has acquired the exclusive rights to produce an animated feature based on the classic comic strip, ‘Garfield’. Alcon co-founders and co-chief executive officers Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove announced on Monday that they had secured the rights from Garfield creator Jim Davis, who will also be serving as executive producer on the film. In the announcement, Alcon said it plans to build a franchise of animated Garfield films.
“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,” said Johnson and Kosove.
“I’ve been so impressed with the quality of animation and storytelling coming out of Hollywood of late,” said Davis. “I can’t wait to get into production with the terrific team Alcon has assembled.”
The project was brought to Alcon by producers John Cohen (‘Despicable Me’, ‘The Angry Birds Movie’) and Steven P. Wegner, who also produce the movie alongside Johnson and Cosgove.
Fox released the family comedy “Garfield: The Movie” in 2004 directed by Peter Hewitt, and starring Breckin Meyer, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Bill Murray in a mixture of love action and CG animation. Despite grossing $200 million worldwide and generating the 2006 sequel “Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties,” the films are generally regarded a dark mark on the great legacy of the Garfield brand, something that will hopefully be rectified by the upcoming adaptation. The announcement that this movie will be all CG, along with the involvement of Davis, seems to suggest a direction closer in tone and style to the original comic strips.
First published in 1978, ‘Garfield’ chronicles the life of the title character, a fat, lazy, cynical orange cat who loves lasagna, coffee, and his remote control; his owner, the long-suffering Jon Arbuckle; and Odie, a sweet but dumb dog. Garfield grew quickly from its iniital run in 41 newspapers to become syndicated in roughly 2,580 newspapers and journals, and hold the Guinness World Record for being the world's most widely syndicated comic strip.