An infamous flop from NBC’s past may soon be brought back to life, with Sony picking up the rights to the show for a feature film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The series is “Manimal,” which had a brief run on the network in 1983 and earned both critical scorn and viewer disinterest. The TV show starred British actor Simon MacCorkindale as Dr. Jonathan Chase, a man who had the power to change his shape into that of any animal — a power he used to solve crimes.
Sony Pictures Animation reportedly is developing the project as a hybrid film combining live action and CG.
“Glen A. Larson, one of the most prolific TV producers of the ’80s (‘Magnum P.I.,’ ‘Knight Rider,’ ‘Battlestar Galactica’), created the show and is attached as a producer on the feature,” the story reports.
“Manimal” had the misfortune of airing against “Dallas” — a huge prime-time hit at the time — and lasted just eight episodes.
“But ‘Manimal’ was campy — Chase turned into a black panther in every episode and uttered lines like ‘I was a real pussycat’ — and developed a cult following even as it became a punchline,” THR reports. “It aired during a pre-Must See TV time at NBC when the network was experimenting with such high-concept fare as ‘Knight Rider’ and ‘The A-Team’ to see what would stick.”
Sony has been showing renewed interest in the 1980s, the report notes, following its success with a reboot of “The Smurfs” last summer that grossed $500 million, the report notes. The studio is also working on an update on “ALF,” and reportedly has a “Smurfs” sequel set for next summer.