Failed 80s Television Series Manimal To Become A Movie

Manimal, which is one of the most well-known failed television series of the 1980s, is getting a second shot, this time on the big screen. Sony Pictures Animation has purchased the movie rights to the show with plans to turn it into a live action/CG hybrid movie. The studio has Hotel Transylvania coming out next month and Manimal will join The Smurfs 2, Cloudy 2: Revenge of the Leftovers, and Kazorn on their upcoming slate.

The show followed the adventures of Professor Jonathan Chase, played by Simon MacCorkindale. The character had the ability to morph into different animals and would use his special gift to help the police fight crime. The show was trashed by critics and was destroyed in the ratings by Dallas. Only eight episodes made it to air.

THR says that Glen A. Larson the show's creator, will serve as a producer on the feature film adaptation. While Manimal was a failure, Larson had a great deal of success as a television producer, playing a part in shows such as Magnum P.I., Battlestar Galactica and Knight Rider.

This is actually the second time that Sony Pictures Animation has picked up an 80s show recently. In early August they picked up the rights to ALF with similar plans to make it a live action/CG hybrid. Perhaps they think the original decade of release was the element most vital to the success of The Smurfs, which made $563 million at the global box office. The Smurfs 2 will be in theaters on July 31, 2013.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.