It has been more than a decade-and-a-half since everyone’s favorite lasagna-loving, Monday-hating tabby cat showed up in a movie of his own on the big screen, but that will all be changing very soon. At some point in the near future, that hilarious, grumpy, and undeniably iconic feline will be back in an animated feature film that will hopefully capture the comedy and heart of Jim Davis’ beloved comic strip and the animated series (and holiday specials) that followed in its wake.
We don’t yet know everything about the still untitled Garfield movie featuring the voiceover work of Chris Pratt, there are a few things we know about the upcoming theatrical release at this time. Let’s break down each of those six quick things right now…
Chris Pratt Is Portraying The Iconic Lasagna-Loving Cat In The Garfield Movie
Chris Pratt, the actor who wormed his way into our hearts as a man stuck in a pit on Parks and Recreation before leading some of the best Marvel movies, will soon add another classic character to the list: Garfield. In November 2021, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Pratt was not only the first addition to the Garfield movie cast, he was hired to portray that exercise-phobic house-cat in the upcoming movie. This news came months after word surfaced about Pratt earning the top spot in the upcoming animated Super Mario Bros. movie as the titular plumber, which is slated to be released in April 2023.
Over the course of the past decade, Pratt has not only established himself as one of the biggest movies stars of his era with a ton of great movies but also one of the most dependable voice actors, having landed major roles in The Lego Movie (and its 2019 sequel) and the 2020 Pixar film, Onward.
Samuel L. Jackson Is Set to Portray A New Character To The Franchise
Although there is no word on who will be voicing familiar characters like Garfield’s owner, Jon Arbuckle, or his canine friend Odie in the upcoming movie, a legendary actor will be portraying a new character when it eventually lands on the big screen. In May 2022, Deadline reported that Samuel L. Jackson had been added to the Garfield cast as a brand new character named Vic, who just so happens to be the feline’s dad.
It has yet to be revealed how much of an impact Vic will have on Garfield’s story, but considering Jackson is voicing the character, it’s safe to assume he’ll have a sizable role. The talented actor is no stranger when it comes to animated films, as his work in Pixar’s The Incredibles happens to be one of Jackson’s best performances to date. Jackson also most recently appeared in the Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank voice cast.
The Garfield Movie Will Be Entirely Animated, Unlike Previous Adaptations
When the Garfield movie opens in theaters at some point in the near future, it will be the first big screen adaptation to be fully-animated. Although the first theatrical releases — Garfield: The Movie and Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties — featured a computer-generated version of the character, voiced by Bill Murray, most of the other characters were real people.
Back in 2016, Variety reported that Alcon Entertainment had secured the exclusive rights to produce an animated movie based on the Garfield property, at which time the production company said its goal was to build a franchise of fully CG-animated movies featuring the iconic character and others from Jim Davis’ comic strips. Later on, in 2021, DNEG Animation, which worked on Ron’s Gone Wrong, revealed it had teamed up with Alcon for the upcoming Garfield movie.
The Emperor’s New Groove Director Mark Dindal Is Helming The Garfield Movie
With a movie like Garfield, especially one based on a franchise so beloved, there needs to be someone who is more than up to the task of taking it on, as well as someone with a strong track record. And, that person happens to be Mark Dindal, who was hired to direct the upcoming movie back in 2018, according to Deadline.
Although his name may not have the name recognition as the legendary Hayao Miyazaki, Pete Docter, or Brad Bird, Dindal isn’t some spring chicken trying to find his groove in show business. Over the years, Dindal has not only directed movies like The Emperor’s New Groove and Chicken Little, he has also produced and animated classics like The Fox and the Hound, The Little Mermaid, The Rocketeer, Aladdin, and nearly two dozen others throughout his career.
Finding Nemo Writer David Reynolds Wrote The Garfield Screenplay
The first two Garfield movies were both penned by Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow, but the longtime writing partners won’t be a part of the upcoming fully-animated feature film. Instead, David Reynolds, whose previous writing credits include Finding Nemo, The Emperor’s New Groove, and others, will be handling the film’s screenplay, according to Deadline.
Throughout his career, Reynolds has also worked on movies like Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3, Chicken Little, Fantasia 2000, Tarzan, and numerous others, as well as small-screen productions like a few “TV Funhouse” segments on Saturday Night Live.
Garfield Creator Jim Davis Is On Board As An Executive Producer
Jim Davis has been involved with the Garfield property ever since he created the beloved character more than 40 years ago in 1978. Since then, he’s assisted various productions ranging from the Garfield and Friends animated series to the previous big screen adaptations. Even though he sold the rights to the property to Alcon Entertainment back in 2016, according to Variety, he will remain on as an executive producer for the upcoming animated Garfield movie.
At this time, there are still quite a few things we don’t yet know about the upcoming Garfield movie. We don’t know if the movie will end up on the 2023 movie schedule, who will join Chris Pratt and Samuel L. Jackson in the voice cast, or what the animated feature is about. But worry not, as these things will come in time. Good thing we have enough lasagna to hold us over while we wait.
Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.
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