Fans of the short-lived TV series Manimal will be happy to hear that a live-action/CG feature adaptation is in the works. The series, which only ran for eight episodes at the tail end of 1983, centered on Jonathan Chase (Simon MacCorkindale), a crime-fighter who could change into any animal at will. The campy premise that was shredded by critics was apparently worthwhile enough to be picked up by Sony Pictures Animation for a possible adaptation. Coming off of the success of The Smurfs live-action/CG hybrid and with plans for a similar adaptation of Alf, the studio is currently mining 80s properties for all their worth. Hit the jump for more on the Manimal adaptation.
Heat Vision brings the news that Sony Pictures Animation is ready to tackle the Manimal adaptation. It’s a bold move to take on a property that is mostly remembered as a punchline by its campy cult following. The article mentions that the studio is currently in search of writers for the project; if they land the right ones, Manimal could turn out to be a lot of fun. The TV series featured Chase turning into a black panther in every episode (at least they got their money’s worth out of the effects budget), so it would be a nice departure from the current state of “realistic and gritty” that pervades a lot of action movies today. I picture it more in line with MacGruber than Batman, but who knows what direction Sony is planning on taking it. TV show creator Glen A. Larson is attached to produce the feature. Check out the Manimal intro below. Manimal!!!