Sony Pictures Animation has closed a deal to acquire rights to the classic 1980s sitcom ALF and will develop the property into a hybrid CG/live action feature.
Jordan Kerner, who produced SPA’s adaptation of 1980s Saturday morning cartoon staple “The Smurfs” and helped turn it into a hybrid blockbuster franchise, will produce the project with show creators Tom Patchett, a veteran of 1970’s comedies, and puppeteer Paul Fusco.
ALF stands for alien life form, and the ’80s sitcom centered on a friendly furry alien creature (a puppet) who crash landed on Earth and took up with the Tanners, a suburban family. ALF, whose name was later revealed as Gordon Shumway, is sarcastic and has an appetite for cats. He courts trouble with government forces that are on his tail. The show aired 102 episodes from 1986-90.
Fusco voiced the title character on the show and is expected reprise his role for the movie. In an extended interview with The Hollywood Reporter in May, he expressed hope that an ALF movie would finally happen.
No writer or director is attached.
Ben Haber of Kerner Entertainment Co. and Kenneth Kaufman will executive produce.
Kaufman, who runs Alien Production with Patchett and Fusco (the trio are the ALF rights holders), is a former producer of TV movies and used to be a producing partner of Kerner’s. It was that relationship that paved the way for the feature project.
Kerner is a veteran producer with credits ranging from “The Mighty Ducks“to“Inspector Gadget“to“Charlotte’s Web.” Last year’s “The Smurfs,” his most recent produced movie, grossed more than $563 million worldwide. Kerner and SPA just wrapped production on “The Smurfs 2,” which has a release date of July 31, 2013.