It’s not “The Fall Guy” (how many more years do we have to wait for the big screen incarnation of that!?) but as far as films based on classic TV shows go, “Manimal” is definitely up there.
Sony Pictures Animation is behind the film, which will be a CGI-live action hybrid a’la “The Smurfs”, says THR.
Here’s the rundown on the original series, from Wikipedia :
Manimal premiered as a 90-minute pilot that aired on September 30, 1983. The series featured the story of Dr Jonathan Chase, a shape-shifter who could turn himself into any animal he chose, and used this ability to help fight crime. Only two people were aware of Jonathan’s secret, his friend Ty Earl and Police Detective Brooke Mackenzie. Jonathan and Ty would assist Brooke with a case she was working on, with Jonathan transforming himself into an animal when it became useful.
While Jonathan had the ability to change himself into any animal, he would transform into a hawk and a black panther in nearly every episode. In some episodes, he would transform into a third animal, such as a horse, dolphin, bear, or bull, with the transformation taking place offscreen, though once he was shown becoming a snake. The transformation sequences were designed and created by the Academy Award-winning SFX artist Stan Winston. Another aspect of the transformations that added to the show’s camp factor involved Dr. Chase’s clothing during a transformation: He was depicted generally wearing a three-piece suit and tie, and the viewer would see it rip off of him as he shape-shifted into an animal, though once the transformation was complete there would be no sign of his discarded clothing. A bit later, he would transform back into human form with all of his clothing perfectly restored upon his person, even if he was unconscious.
There’s no writer onboard yet, suggesting the film could just as likely bellyflop before its even sprung, but with such a cool concept – a guy that can turn into an animal at will – one thinks it’ll definitely have its supporters at the studio.