If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Hey, remember the 80s? Well the major studios sure seem to, and they are striving to turn as many properties from the era into contemporary box office gold. Case in point would be this latest announcement that Sony Pictures Animation has acquired the rights to a certain fuzzy television alien life form. That's right, the 80s sitcom 'ALF' is being developed as a feature film that will blend CG animation and live-action. The series centered on a furry, sarcastic alien who took up residence with the Tanner family upon arriving on Earth. He was originally a puppet operated and voiced by Paul Fusco, who will purportedly be returning for this new film. As of right now, Sony does not have a writer or director lined up.
On the one hand, Sony was the studio that took a seemingly DOA 80s adaptation and turned it into something great with '21 Jump Street.' However, we are now talking about Sony Pictures Animation. While they did create something truly brilliant in 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs' (same directors as 'Jump Street'), the last 80s property they turned into a combination CG/live-action feature was 'The Smurfs.' Not that 'The Smurfs' was a complete disaster, but it was far from quality and did little to restore my faith in this adaptation process. I don't harbor a great deal of affection for the 'ALF' TV series, I had plenty of the ALF-based merchandise as a kid, and saw him when he would turn up in commercials or TV specials, but never really watched the show. But that lack of lingering affection may actually benefit my enjoyment of this new film. As concerned as I am about 'ALF,' using 'The Smurfs' as precedent, I do think the director/writer selections will make all the difference. I'm also pleased to see they got Fusco to come back; can't imagine anyone else supplying that voice. We'll have to wait and see on this one.
What do you guys think? Any diehard ALF fans out there? Could this new film work? How many cat-eating jokes do you think we'll see?