Alcon Entertainment has obtained the exclusive rights to produce a “Garfield” animated film, TheWrap has learned.
Alcon acquired the rights from the creator of the “Garfield” comics, Jim Davis, who will also serve as an executive producer. The comic strip debuted in 1978 and follows a cynical and lazy orange cat and his interactions with his owner, Jon Arbuckle. Alcon’s goal is to build a franchise of fully CG-animated “Garfield” feature films.
“Garfield” originally appeared in 41 newspapers, and its immediate popularity made it one of the fastest growing comic strips of all time. It ultimately appeared in 2,580 newspapers and journals, with an estimated readership of 260 million. “Garfield” currently holds the record for being the most widely syndicated comic strip in the world.
“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,” Alcon’s co-founders and co-CEOs Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove said in a joint statement.
John Cohen, producer of the worldwide hit films “Despicable Me” and the recently released “The Angry Birds Movie,” and Steven P. Wegner brought the project to Alcon. Cohen and Wegner will produce along with Kosove and Johnson. Bridget McMeel from Amuse will executive produce with Davis.
This will not be the first time everybody’s favorite lasagna-loving cat has come to the silver screen. Bill Murray previously voiced the character in 2004’s “Garfield: The Movie,” in which the cat was CGI and the rest of the film was live action. He also returned for the 2006 sequel “Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties.”