Sony Pictures Animation has closed a deal to acquire rights to the classic 1980s TV sitcom ALF and will develop the property into a CG-live action hybrid 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 1970s 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 a suburban family named the Tanners. 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 on NBC from 1986 to 1990 and lasted 102 episodes.
Fusco voiced the character on the show and is expected return as the voice of ALF for the movie. In a long interview with THR 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 exec 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. Smurfs, his most recent produced movie, grossed more than $563 million worldwide. Kerner and SPA just wrapped production on Smurfs 2, which has a release date of July 31, 2013.