On a desperate network that aired shows about a talking car and a sarcastic, cat-craving alien, Manimal still holds a special place in the annals of programming infamy. Simon MacCorkindale starred as Dr. Jonathan Chase, a wealthy crime-fighter who could morph into all sorts of fierce animal creatures. Since it was still 1983, you can imagine how cheesy the special effects were, and the series was cancelled by NBC after only eight episodes, forever making Manimal a punchline.
Adam McKay and Will Ferrell are now hoping to get some more fresh laughs out if it. Their Gary Sanchez Productions is partnering with Sony Pictures Animation, which acquired the rights two years ago, to make a live-action/animation hybrid action-comedy based on Manimal. “I think it’s right down our alley, it’s what we do—it’s tongue-in-cheek and has an action component, but overall it’s a comedy,” McKay told Deadline, which reported the news. “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.”
No director has been announced, but Jay Martel and Ian Roberts (Key & Peele) are writing the script.
McKay and Ferrell have a soft spot for cheesy, so-bad-it’s-good, cult TV shows, bringing Land of the Lost to the big screen in 2009. It remains unclear if Ferrell will star as the dashing Dr. Chase, but when it comes to lions fighting tuna, no one is better positioned to make that call.