Will Ferrell and Adam McKay are set to transform the 1980s cult TV show “Manimal” into a big-screen action-comedy.
According to a Deadline report, Ferrell and McKay have been enlisted by Sony Pictures Animation to produce its hybrid live-action/animated movie based on the short-lived series about a handsome doctor who has the ability to morph into any animal he chooses and who uses his powers to fight crime.
Released by NBC in 1983, “Manimal” was immediately skewered for its cheesy effects and campy vibe — and the fact that the good doctor rarely turned into anything other than a panther or hawk. It was canceled after just eight episodes. Somehow, though, the show managed to wedge itself in a corner of pop-culture consciousness.
McKay and Ferrell, whose many collaborations include the “Anchorman” films, “Step Brothers” and “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” excel at creating over-the-top caricatures and turning them loose, so the high concept of “Manimal” should give them ample fodder.
“I think it’s right down our alley,” McKay told Deadline. He also quipped, “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.”
A director for “Manimal” has yet to be named, but Jay Martel and Ian Roberts (executive producers on TV’s “Key & Peele”) are writing the script. Jimmy Miller of Mosaic and Glen A. Larson, who created the original series, are producing with Ferrell and McKay.