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Emperor's New Groove Duo Team on Garfield CG Feature

If you were to ask somebody to name a famous newspaper comic strip, there is a small number of titles that will come up time and time again. Standing out above all are Charles Shulz's Peanuts, Bill Waterson's Calvin and Hobbes and Jim Davis's Garfield. Of these big three Garfield is the only one that's still running.

First published in its current form in 1978, Davis's strip went on to become the most widely syndicated comic strip in the world. At its height, it ran in close to 2,600 newspapers and reached more the 263 million readers.  Garfield is one of the most recognisable characters in the world and even people who have never read a newspaper know who he is. He has generated billions of dollars worth of merchandise, sold millions of collected volumes and starred in several animated series and specials and two live-action/CG movies starring the voice of Bill Murray. With that sort of pedigree, it's no wonder Hollywood would come sniffing back around.

Way back in 2016 it was announced that Alcon Entertainment would produce a fully animated film starring the sardonic feline. However, the status of it had been unknown since CBSViacom acquired Garfield's owner Paws Inc in 2019. It has now been confirmed (via The Hollywood Reporter) that the project is still indeed in the works and has signed Chris Pratt to voice the main character.

The news has been met with bewilderment online, especially coming so soon after the announcement of him voicing the eponymous character in next year's Super Mario movie. However, to be fair it's not a bad fit to Pratt's original shlubby pre-Marvel persona. Don't forget he first found fame as the dimwitted but lovable Parks And Recreation character Andy Dwyer. It makes more sense than casting him as Mario at least.

The film is scripted by Finding Nemo screenwriter David Reynolds and directed by Mark Dindal. The two are both animation veterans with credits at Disney and Pixar and previously collaborated on the underrated Disney feature The Emperor's New Groove, which Dindal directed. Jim Davis will be on board as Executive Producer alongside Bridget McMeel and Craig Sost.  Alcon's Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson will produce with John Cohen and Steven P Wegner.

The animation will be produced by DNEG Animation, the animation arm of the acclaimed VFX studio formally known as Double Negative. 

Sony Pictures will distribute the film internationally (excluding China). All other details- release date, plot and even the final title, will be revealed at a later date.