After recently signing on to be the voice of Mario in Nintendo’s animated Mario Bros. movie, Chris Pratt will now voice the lead role in “Garfield” in an animated movie based on the comic strip of the sarcastic and cynical, lasagna-loving, Monday-hating orange cat.
Alcon Entertainment is developing the feature film, and Sony Pictures will release “Garfield” in theaters globally, excluding China. No release date has been set.
David Reynolds (“Finding Nemo”) wrote the script for the film that’s being directed by Mark Dinadl (“Chicken Little,” “The Emperor’s New Groove”).
Alcon acquired the rights to “Garfield” from the creator of the comic series and brand, Jim Davis, who will also serve as an executive producer. His “Garfield” comics first debuted in 1978 and follow the life of the lazy orange cat and his interactions with his owner, Jon Arbuckle, and Jon’s pet dog, Odie. Though “Garfield” originally appeared in 41 newspapers, its success and popularity made it one of the fastest growing comic strips of all time, ultimately appearing in 2,580 newspapers and journals, with an estimated readership of 260 million. “Garfield” currently holds the record as the most widely syndicated comic strip worldwide.
“Garfield” became an animated TV series called “Garfield and Friends” that ran between 1988 through 1995, and it’s spawned several more animated shorts and specials throughout the years. “Garfield” came to the big screen in 2004 for the live-action “Garfield” that featured Bill Murray as the voice of the cartoon cat. Though the film was not exactly a critical darling, it made over $200 million at the worldwide box office and led the way for a sequel, “Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties,” in 2006.
Davis will executive produce on the film alongside Bridget McMeel from Amuse. John Cohen and Steven P. Wegner will serve as producers along with Alcon principals Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson. Craig Sost will also executive produce.
DNEG Animation will animate and produce the film with Alcon Entertainment, with DNEG CEO Namit Malhotra and DNEG President Tom Jacomb both serving as producers.
Pratt most recently starred in Amazon’s “The Tomorrow War” and also voiced one of the leads in Disney/Pixar’s “Onward.” He’ll next be seen in “Jurassic World: Dominion” and “The Terminal List.” He also headlines the cast of the upcoming “Super Mario Bros.” animated film alongside Charlie Day, Anya Taylor-Joy and Keegan Michael-Key.
Reynolds is best known for writing the screenplay for “Finding Nemo” with Andrew Stanton and Bob Peterson, which earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Reynolds previously wrote the screenplay for “The Emperor’s New Groove” and spent many years writing for “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.”
Pratt is represented by UTA, Rise Management and Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern. Reynolds is represented by The Gersh Agency.
THR first reported the news.