Despite my love for all things Bill Murray, I have actually never seen the two live-action/CG hybrid Garfield movies. And by all accounts, this is a good thing, unlike 2004’s Garfield: The Movie and 2006’s Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties, which saw Murray voice a computer generated version of the famous lazy fat cat from Jim Davis’ iconic comic strip.
Despite being devoured viciously by critics the way Garfield goes through a plate of lasagna, the first film went on to quadruple its $50 million budget at the box office. The sequel boasted some diminishing returns though, only just about doubling its $60 million price tag. I’m guessing that 20th Century Fox got wise to the downward trend which is why they didn’t try their luck for a third attempt. Alcon Entertainment though has other ideas.
THR reports that the production studio has picked up the Garfield film rights from Davis, and is currently developing a new feature film based on the comic strip. Davis will also act as executive producer on the film which – naturally, because this is Hollywood after all – is being positioned as the start of a fresh new franchise. And unlike previous efforts this will be an all CG animated affair, which means that we can actually get better approximations of other characters like sad sack owner Jon Arbuckle and dimwitted dog Odie on-screen this time around.
According to THR, “Garfield debuted in 1978, becoming a sensation in the 1980s as the strip took over best-seller lists in the form of collected books. Merchandising and cartoon specials followed. The strip holds the Guinness record for being the most widely syndicated comic strip in the world and is seen in 2,580 newspapers and journals, with an estimated readership of 260 million.”
That’s already a huge built-in fanbase, and Alcon is positioning this planned movie to also tap into a new generation that may not know the orange cat his friends yet. We’ve just recently seen another classic comic strip get the full CG animated treatment in The Peanuts Movie, to massive critical and commercial success, and I’m guessing that the studio is hoping Garfield will follow suit.
Last Updated: May 26, 2016