For decades, the legend of Manimal has been passed down from generation to generation. A man with the brightest of futures and the darkest of pasts, he is a crime-fighting shape shifter who is able to take on the form of any animal. Dr. Jonathan Chase’s adventures ran for four short months on NBC back in 1983 before the show was cancelled (prematurely, of course), but Manimal lived on in the hearts and minds of fans. Now Sony Pictures Animation is ready to give him another shot at the spotlight as they have reportedly picked up the rights to Manimal on the big screen. It is as the prophecies have foretold… but is the world truly ready for more Manimal?
According to THR, Sony Pictures Animation is developing Manimal as a live action/CG hybrid film. Series creator Glen A. Larson (Knight Rider) is on board as a producer and Sony is currently looking for writers to pitch their ideas. It’s still unclear if this is being envisioned as a comedy or a relatively “serious” action / adventure flick.
Sony is the same studio that also recently picked up the rights to an ALF movie, so clearly they are trying to corner the market on goofy ’80s nostalgia. Manimal was always considered a joke even when it first aired, but the show was somewhat campy and self-aware as well. Although there’s a very good chance that this is a terrible idea, given the right tone I think they could do something fun with it. At the very least they should have a bigger budget to sink into those transformation sequences. What do you think, would you actually pay to see a Manimal movie?