Brad Anderson’s famous Great Dane Marmaduke will be getting the big-screen treatment at 20th Century Fox. According to The Hollywood Reporter, director Tom Dey has been hired to develop a feature based on the popular long-running newspaper comic strip.
The Marmaduke strip was first introduced in 1954 and revolved around the adventures of a mischievous Great Dane who lives with the Winslow family. The big pooch also appeared in several segments of the animated Heathcliff series produced by Ruby-Spears, which aired in the 1980s, as well as a cameo apearance in the Garfield and Friends show. Marmaduke was voiced by the late Paul Winchell. Fox didn’t reveal whether the project was going to be animated, live-action or a hybrid.
Marmaduke’s other friends both have animated projects in various stages of development: Fitz Roy Media is developing an animated series/movie project based on Heathcliff in conjunction with cartoonist Peter Gallagher, while French studio Mediatoon is prepping the CG-animated The Garfield Show, based on the popular Jim Davis cartoon/comic. Produced by Robert Rea and directed by Philippe Vidal the new Garfield toon is budgeted at $12.7 million and will be ready for delivery in May. The show has already been sold to the Cartoon Network in certain territories, France’s France 3 and Europe’s Boomerang.