Sony has announced that Chris Pratt will be the voice of Garfield for the new animated adaptation of the life of the lasagna-loving cat who also hates Mondays. Mark Dindal (The Emperor’s New Groove, Chicken Little) is directing the project based on a script by David Reynolds (Finding Nemo).
Little else is known about the project right now, but Pratt’s casting means that his impressive resume of voicing animated characters continues. He previously voiced protagonist Emmet in The LEGO Movie and its sequel, one of the two leads in Disney/Pixar’s Onward, and recently signed on to voice Super Mario in Illumination’s adaptation of the video game franchise.
Garfield was created by Jim Davis and made its debut in 1978, going on to become the most widely-syndicated comic strip in the world. Garfield has transcended his own medium so that even those who haven’t read the comic strip recognise him, which is why the brand has expanded way further than a four panel comic.
Garfield previously got big screen adaptations in 2004 and 2006, with Bill Murray voicing the character, having infamously signed on only because he thought the Coen Brothers had written the script – turns out it was actually Joel Cohen instead. Those films made money but weren’t particularly well received. They also mixed live action and CGI, but this new version will just be the latter.
There have also been three Garfield TV shows, with shorts starring him currently airing on Nickelodeon. This big screen project has been in development for three years without much movement, but Pratt’s casting should certainly help there.
What a big screen Garfield will look like in the 2020s is anyone’s guess, but Pratt is a good fit for a lazy protagonist with an intense passion for food – he practically played the same character on Parks & Recreation.