Sony Pictures Animation has picked up the movie rights to Manimal, a short-lived 1983 NBC series, and is developing the project as a live action/CG hybrid film.
Manimal followed Dr. Jonathan Chase, a wealthy doctor with a mysterious past, who morphed into animals in order to help the police fight crime.
The show, which starred Brit Simon MacCorkindale and Melody Anderson (who played Dale Arden in the 1980 movie Flash Gordon), was slaughtered by critics and trounced when it aired in 1983 opposite Dallas, then a ratings juggernaut. It was canceled after just eight episodes.
Please read that last line again: It was canceled after just eight episodes. Sony is making a movie — an actual, going to theaters movie — based on a TV series canceled in 1983 that only aired eight episodes. About a guy who turned into animals.
I was going to rail about the creative bankruptcy of Hollywood, but honestly, the fact that Sony is trying to reboot Manimal is so insane I’m actually kind of impressed. It’s like the difference between a regular murderer and a serial killer who turns the flesh of his victims into furniture and upholstery. Sure, they’re both insane and evil, but one of them is putting a lot more effort into it than the other.
Robert Bricken is one of the original co-founders of the site formerly known as Topless Robot, and its first editor-in-chief, serving from 2008-12. He brought the site to prominence with “nerd news, humor and self-loathing” as its motto, raising it from total internet obscurity to a readership in the millions, with help from his savage “FAQ” movie reviews and Fan Fiction Fridays. Under his tenure Topless Robot was covered by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, ABC News, and others, and his articles have been praised by Roger Ebert, Avengers actor Clark Gregg, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent John Hodgman, the stars of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Rifftrax, and others. He is currently the managing editor of io9.com. Despite decades as both an amateur and professional nerd, he continues to be completely unprepared for either the zombie apocalypse or the robot uprising.