[adrotate banner=”1″]With one fat orange comic strip cat appearing periodically at the box office, it was only a matter of time before the other one appeared. The Heathcliff film has meowed back to life when Waterman Entertainment scooped up the rights. Yes, the Waterman Entertainment that gave us Alvin and the Chipmunk, Casper, Stuart Little, the upcoming Mr. Ed film, the upcoming Brave Little Toaster remake, and anything else they can get their grubby hands on. Like all those properties, Heathcliff will be a live action/CGI hybrid (though this is following the Garfield flicks’ styles, so it was expected!) They’re also looking into a TV series.
I loved the Heathcliff cartoons growing up (the version I remember best was the Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats version) and the Heathcliff books that had collections of the strips. I still have most of them, packed next to the Peanuts and Family Circus books. Wait a minute, is Hollywood raiding my childhood reading shelf??? Oh, crap, now expect movies of Beetle Baily, Pavlov the dog, a Muppets comic strip, Mad magazine, Bloom County, Hagar the Horrible, and Marvin the baby! And that’s not even counting my shelves and shelves of non-comic strip books. Sorry that I have inflicted this on America, America.
[adrotate banner=”1″]Mr. Ed is dead set on being made into a film (of course, of course), and Fox 2000 was developing the property, but before you can say “Ghost of Hot to Trot murdered them in their sleep”, Waterman Entertainment has stepped up and taken over, announcing it as a live action/CGI hybrid. You might know Waterman Entertainment from when they bought the rights to The Brave Little Toaster and announced it was going to be a live action/CGI flick. Or their live action/CGI films Caspar, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Alvin and the Chipmunks 2: The Squeakquel, Alvin and the Chipmunks 3: Chipwrecked, Stuart Little, and Stuart Little 2.
What does all this mean? It means pack your bags, it’s over. Everything you ever loved as a child will soon be live action/CGI hybrids. California Raisins, Rude Dog, Fraggle Rock, Galaxy High, Turbo Teen, those Reese’s Pieces commercials with the blue alien guy, Madballs, and Micro Machines. All on the list. Waterman Entertainment is like the Borg, chasing down your childhood dreams and packaging them for a brave new world. Though I still demand my Francis the Talking Mule reboot!!!
I will forgive them if Mr. Ed surfs, though. But only if it is a real horse.
Just check out this rambling press release! Aren’t press releases fun? I can copy/paste them in and fill up lots of space, making it look like I spent hours writing this post.
WATERMAN ENTERTAINMENT CONTINUES TO BUILD FAMILY LIBRARY WITH POPULAR CHILDREN’S TITLE MR. ED
Family Entertainment-Based Company to Develop
Los Angeles, CA (September 21, 2012)–Family-based production outfit Waterman Entertainment is developing a feature film concept based on the iconic family television property, MR. ED. The property fits seamlessly into the company’s business model, which is to identify existing and successful family brands that can be developed into live action/CGI feature film properties.
Over the past twelve months the company has been aggressively seeking out family-friendly brands that have franchise potential and ancillary viability on platforms including television, digital, literary, and merchandising. In doing so, Waterman Entertainment works in conjunction with the creators and rights holder’s to tap their wealth of knowledge around their characters and storylines allowing for stronger content that remains true to the property.
Steve Waterman, who founded and manages the company along with his sons Tucker and Cooper, has served as an Executive Producer on theatrical features including CASPER with Universal; ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS, ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE SQUEAKQUEL and ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED with 20th Century Fox; and STUART LITTLE and STUART LITTLE 2 with Columbia Pictures, among other credits.
Cooper Waterman said, “We are identifying properties that have had success with multiple generations of parents who feel comfortable and have excitement about reintroducing the characters and storylines to their own kids and grandkids. While each property remains independent of each other, they will share the commonality of addressing social values, morality lessons, and characteristics that are clearly identifiable for kids with comedic elements for all age groups.”
The company recently announced the acquisition of rights for THE BRAVE LITTLE TOASTER, a project that Disney released as a fully animated feature in 1987. Waterman will present the reimagination as a CGI/live action property and give it a contemporary storyline, while preserving the original essence of the characters and moral lessons behind the story.
Waterman Entertainment is focused on acquiring properties and growing them across multiple platforms to support the theatrical release. Tucker Waterman continued, “When we develop properties we don’t limit them solely to the big screen. They are iconic characters and brands that have appeal far beyond movies. We will be utilizing both traditional and new methods to bring these characters to audiences in a myriad of platforms.”
Waterman Entertainment (www.watermanent.com) is a family-owned and operated media and entertainment company that focuses on creating, financing and distributing film, television, and digital media properties across multiple platforms for family audiences. The company works closely with creators and rights holders and manages all licensing rights to their brands and characters to exploit ancillary revenue streams tied to worldwide theatrical releases.