You know what they say: “If at first you make a movie and no one likes it, and then you make another movie and it becomes a pop-culture punch line, then try, try again.” That’s the apparent Hollywood folk wisdom behind a recent article in Variety detailing Alcon Entertainment’s attempts to get a new series of computer-animated Garfield movies off the ground, despite the fact that there’s only so much dramatic tension to be wrung from eating lasagna and hating Mondays.
Alcon, while no 2oth Century Fox—the producers of last decade’s disastrous Garfield movies—is no fly-by night outfit, either: Past hits include Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners and The Blind Side, and the company is currently in the midst of producing that Blade Runner sequel The A.V. Club was super nervous about until they saw the director (Villeneuve) and stars (Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford) attached. (Now we’re just the normal amount of nervous.) To be fair, though, it also produced last winter’s instantly forgotten Point Break remake and the Wicker Man remake with Nicolas Cage and the bees, so its instincts aren’t all good.
Anyway, Alcon has acquired exclusive theatrical rights to the character, and plans to “build a franchise of fully CG-animated Garfield feature films,” presumably with the end goal of building a Sunday Funnies Cinematic Universe. (Hypothetical SFCU Avengers, all-animal edition: Marmaduke, The Red Baron, Rosebud the Basselope, Otto, Snerk, and Garfield. Garfield’s the Hawkeye.) Garfield creator Jim Davis, who has never made his commercial intentions for his creation a secret, will serve as executive producer. Odds of Bill Murray returning to the role are currently “you’re joking, right?”-1.