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Ready For Manimal: The Movie?
'80s cult TV becomes CG/live-action

17 September 2012  |  Written by James White  |  Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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Every time some new nugget of nostalgia is mined to fuel the hungry development furnace, we enjoy hauling out comparable ideas (TV shows, books etc.) that would never, ever, seriously get optioned. But somehow, as the list of untouched titles dwindles, we’re constantly surprised by what does suddenly become attractive to studios. Take today: Sony Pictures Animation has decided that Manimal is worth making into a movie.

Manimal, for those of you too young to recall it, or desirous of decent television unwilling to dip into such a cult show, revolved around… Well, why don’t we let the opening narration tell you? “Dr. Jonathan Chase... wealthy, young, handsome. A man with the brightest of futures. A man with the darkest of pasts. From Africa's deepest recesses, to the rarefied peaks of Tibet, heir to his father's legacy and the world's darkest mysteries. Jonathan Chase, master of the secrets that divide man from animal, animal from man... Manimal!”

Even shorter version: wealthy doctor turns into animals (usually a hawk or a panther, but occasionally he’d diversify into a bear, a horse, and even a snake once) and helps the police. The transformations were ridiculous, but always entertaining, when they weren’t off screen.

We can sort of see the appeal: Glen A Larson’s original series, which was blessed with the best cast names ever in Simon McKorkindale and Flash Gordon’s Melody Anderson only lasted eight episodes and was largely derided by critics. So there’s scope to make something better, with modern effects technology. Or there’s the 21 Jump Street approach, but with a panther instead of Channing Tatum.

Right now, it’s early days on the idea, which will be designed as a live-action / CG hybrid, as the studio is merely meeting with writers to find the best pitch. What next? The Flumps? Don’t joke – someone will try it…

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Your Comments

only 8 episodes?
never realised this was so short lived. loved it as a kid, and used to do the hand thing as a party trick, due to some odd joints (between meta-carpels, not juvenile narcotics). no reason they can't do something great with a film version, even if the show was much crapper than my tiny '80s mind realised. More

Posted by obimoo at 17:19 on 21 September 2012 | Report This Post


Posted by samhaim at 23:48 on 18 September 2012 | Report This Post

Do it 'Avengers' style!
How about Manimal, Automan and the A-Team together? And then maybe add Airwolf, Street Hawk and Knight Rider? Why is no one in movie land looking at this?! More

Posted by bdgr at 18:19 on 18 September 2012 | Report This Post

I'm ready!
But why stop at Manimal? What about Automan?!? He was great! More

Posted by bdgr at 18:11 on 18 September 2012 | Report This Post

Make it funny, could work
I think the only way this could work is if you cast someone funny, Will Ferrell or Andy Samberg say, or a good looking fellow playing against type, Ryan Gosling or Michael Fassbender for example. Either way, there's no change you could make a serious drama out of the premise. More

Posted by RogueElement at 17:20 on 18 September 2012 | Report This Post

Flumps Would Be Fuckin Awesome!
The Flumps being brought out of retirement to rescue Pootle from the clutches of Fingermouse and Bagpuss...Expendables style! That would be fuckin cool! As for Manimal, give me a break...I did watch it as a kid but no matter how great the effects, a man turning into a snake or a frickin rat is just bollocks! More

Posted by Fozola at 12:57 on 18 September 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Ha Ha!
Had to look twice when I saw this one, think this finally shows that after Universal saying they're concentraiting on sequels now they've finally came up empty on the new ideas front. More

Posted by Wild about Wilder at 10:03 on 18 September 2012 | Report This Post

Ha Ha!
MANIMAL! An old favourite. I still have old episodes on VHS that I taped when they were first aired on BBC1 back in the 80's. Yeah, why not? Hollywood have regurgitated worse ideas. And follow it up with AUTOMAN and STREET HAWK! More

Posted by Void Indigo at 09:41 on 18 September 2012 | Report This Post

I would watch the shit out of a Flumps movie. More

Posted by MojoMonkey at 09:33 on 18 September 2012 | Report This Post

Air Wolf!
Give me Air Wolf! More

Posted by Nicky C at 09:12 on 18 September 2012 | Report This Post

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