News broke in 2012 that Sony Pictures Animation was looking to bring the short-lived NBC series, Manimal, to the big screen. Now, SPA has an update, revealing that Adam McKay and Will Ferrell are taking on the feature! At the moment, they’re only confirmed to produce and it’s unclear whether or not Ferrell might take on the leading role of Dr. Jonathan Chase. It is hinted that McKay will not be taking the director’s chair, however.
The 1983 NBC series was created by Glen A. Larson and Donald R. Boyle and followed Chase (Simon MacCorkindale), a man with the ability to transform himself into any animal in the world, using his powers to fight for justice.
Although the series lasted only eight episodes, MacCorkindale reprised the character 15 years later in an episode of the Larson-created “Night Man,” in turn based on the Malibu Comics series.
“When we approached Jimmy, Will and Adam about ‘Manimal,’ they instantly saw the potential for a big, fun comedy that blends their unique comic sensibility with our studio’s animation expertise,” says Sony Pictures Animation President of Production Michelle Raimo Kouyate. “With their help, Jay and Ian then came up with a brilliantly funny story that delivers on that potential. We couldn’t be more excited.”
“A comedy where a secret agent turns into a multitude of animals to fight crime… and to do it with Sony Pictures Animation, Gary Sanchez, and Ian and Jay? It doesn’t get better than that,” adds Jimmy Miller.
“Like ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ or ‘The Sound and the Fury,’ ‘Manimal’ has always been one of those elusive projects every producer dreams of taking to the silver screen,” smiles McKay. “I know the movie will be funny and entertaining but will it be the first film to win a Pulitzer? We’ll just have to see.”
Larson is also attached to produce the new film, which is said to blend live-action and CGI for an action-comedy tone. Jay Martel and Ian Robert (“Key & Peele”) will provide the screenplay.