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Thursday, 22 January 2009

Tom and Jerry to be CGIfied - Tell me it ain't so

Variety have the hideous news that the brilliant Tom and Jerry are to go the way of Garfield and Alvin and the Chipmunks. Why Hollywood Why?

Warner Bros. is turning to Tom and Jerry to create its own "Alvin and the Chipmunks"-like family franchise.
Plans are to bring the constantly warring cat and mouse to life as CG characters that run around in live-action settings.

Studio-based Dan Lin, currently producing the upcoming "Sherlock Holmes" and exec producer on "Terminator: Salvation," will adapt the classic Hanna-Barbera property as an origin story that reveals how Tom and Jerry first meet and form their rivalry before getting lost in Chicago and reluctantly working together during an arduous journey home.

Eric Gravning is penning the script.

Interest in the new projects certainly ramped up after "Alvin and the Chipmunks" earned a whopping $360 million worldwide, besting even Fox’s predictions for the pic, which was budgeted at $60 million. A sequel was quickly greenlit, with the singing rodents skedded to hit the screen again in 2010.

Revenue potential from worldwide box office, DVD, games and merchandise sales, as well as the potential for sequels and earnings from TV and homevid spinoffs, is considered too good to pass up.

The built-in familiarity of the characters has studio bosses feeling they’re not taking the kind of risk associated with creating a new property marketing mavens must promote from scratch.

"Tom and Jerry" originated as a series of 114 animated shorts, produced by MGM’s toon studio between 1940 and 1960, and won seven Academy Awards. New toons were produced after that, and Warner Bros. released "Tom and Jerry: The Movie" in 1992 as a feature-length toon.

Anyone else think this has bad idea written all over it? Mind you my kids loved the Garfield and Alvin movies so the target audience will no doubt dig it. However, that normal animated Tom and Jerry film from a few years ago was not so good.

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