In an announcement that could have only been made on a Monday, Chris Pratt has been cast as the voice of Garfield in Sony‘s new animated adaptation from Alcon Entertainment.Mark Dindal (The Emperor’s New Groove, Chicken Little) will direct the project, based on a script by David Reynolds (Finding Nemo), who collaborated with the director before on The Emperor’s New Groove.
Pratt has been building quite the resume of voice work over the years, and will expand his berth of characters by portraying Super Mario in Illumination Entertainment‘s adaptation of the video game franchise. Other characters Pratt has lent his vocal talents to include Barley Lightfoot in Disney and Pixar‘s Onward and Emmet Brickowski in Warner Bros.’ Lego Movie films. He was most recently seen on Amazon Prime this past summer in the sci-fi actioner The Tomorrow War, and is currently filming Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
The actor will have big shoes to fill, as the iconic Bill Murray voiced the lasagna-loving feline in two films for 20th Century Fox, releasing in 2004 and 2006, respectively. Both films were hybrids of animation and live-action, with Garfield the only animated character in both films. Garfield: The Movie and its sequel, Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties, were both modest successes, with the first earning around $200 million and the sequel earning $143 million. Despite that success, Dindal and Pratt‘s film will be solely animated.
Dindal has been attached to a Garfield project for roughly three years, and Pratt‘s casting certainly elevates the project. Garfield is an iconic character, and the orange cat and his companions currently serve as the most widely-syndicated comic strip in the world. Created by Jim Davis, the series made its debut in June 1978. Since that time, Garfield and company have gone on to star in three television programs, with shorts starring the character currently airing on Nickelodeon. There’s currently no release date for the project.