With an Alf adaptation already in development, Sony Pictures Animation is reaching even deeper into the high-concept '80s television archives for a feature-length adaptation of Manimal, the esoteric shape-shifting series NBC ran for two-and-a-half months at the end of 1983.
As the title almost gets across, Manimal concerned a man named Dr. Jonathan Chase, the rich heir to both a fortune and (according to the intro) "the secrets that divide man from animal, animal from man... Manimal!" Each episode dealt with Chase and his friend Ty aiding detective Brooke Mackenzie with her cases, most of which were best solved by a dude turning into an animal--most typically a hawk or panther, because those were the only shape-shifting animations they had on-hand. According to THR, Smurfs studio's approach will naturally be to make the film a live-action/CG hybrid. Prolific '80s TV producer and Manimal creator Glen A. Larson is attached to produce, continuing the impressive work he did fostering his premise for eight 45-minute episodes and a 1998 Night Man cross-over that briefly entertained viewers who had heard of both Manimal and Night Man.
Sony is now looking for writers as they try in vain to block out the furious cries of fans. "Manimal will always be Simon MacCorkindale! Simon MacCorkindaaaaale!!!"
Here's the show's ridiculously-long intro:
Let's just hope Sony doesn't degrade the Manimal brand.