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Hot on the heels of the announcement that a film is being developed based on NBC’s Manimal, co-creator Glen A. Larson has opened up about the plans for the project, which he says will be more in “the spirit of Spider-Man.”
Airing in 1983 for just eight episodes, the original Manimal followed Dr. Jonathan Chase as he used his animal-morphing abilities to help solve crimes.
Larson, who’s best known for shows like Battlestar Galactica, Knight Rider and Magnum, P.I., told SFX he’ll be involved in the big-screen reboot as a writer and producer. “I like to be involved in the writing if I possibly can – that’s self-defense!” he said. “Things that go from TV to movies once in a while work great. With Mission: Impossible, they’ve done four of them, the first Charlie’s Angels was great, but you could look at Starsky And Hutch and a bunch of movies that didn’t quite capture what had made them hits on television. So it can go either way, and if you have your hand in it at least you can guide it.”
After discussing the benefits of CGI and how difficult it was doing a practical change every week from man to animal, he explained the lighter tone Sony Pictures Animation is going for. “It was a very deliberate acquisition, because they want family entertainment,” Larson said. “So it will probably have more of the spirit of Spider-Man in terms of it having its tongue in its cheek and not being too dark and desperate. We’ll try to have some fun with it.”
Larson went on to say that the lead this time around would be a younger character who would gain the powers unknowingly, unlike his TV counterpart Dr. Chase who was older and more experienced. He did say that there’s potential for that character — or someone like him — to return as a kind of guiding force.
Lastly, Larson commented on the origins of the powers. “I think we’ll probably get a little further into it – that was another factor of time, I didn’t have a lot of time to develop that,” Larson said. “But we’ll play with that – we have a couple of things in mind.”
Aside from Larson, no other creative people have been announced for the upcoming project.