Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Marmaduke & Bears Updates

More of our favorite cartoons are coming to the big screen in live action/CGI hybrid films. We've seen Garfield, Alvin and the Chipmunks and Scooby Doo, but now two more will follow suit. "The Berenstain Bears" and "Marmaduke" are taking shape by their specific studios and this week news has broke on both warranting me giving my two cents. Instead of wasting a ton of time dredging out two stories, I figured it be better for all of us if I just complied them here in one sweet package. Checkout updates on both "The Berenstain Bears" and "Marmaduke" after the break...

20th Century Fox has found it's Marmaduke. The studio had previously pegged Shanghai Noon and Failure to Launch director Tom Dey and now this week they've added Owen Wilson to voice the famous comic strip Great Dane. Owen Wilson seems like a nice fit for the K9, however I am pretty weary on how well this film will end up.

The live action/CGI is penned by Tim Rasmussen and Vince Di Meglio was adapted from Brad Anderson and Phil Leeming's comic strip. The film will follow the Winslows who move from Kansas to Orange County with their dog Marmaduke. THR quotes the script revolving around Marmaduke navigating a volatile Mutts vs. Pedigrees turf war, woo the purebred of his dreams and overcome a fall from grace. Pushing Daisies star Lee Pace plays Marmaduke's owner Phil Winslow and Judy Greer plays his wife Debbie. William H. Macy also stars in a live role while Ron Perlman, Amanda Seyfried, Jeremy Piven, Stacy Ferguson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Steve Coogan, George Lopez and Damon Wayans Jr. lend their voices alongside Wilson. "Marmaduke" is currently filming and slated for a June 4, 2010 release.

The second beloved cartoon being adapted to live action/CGI is "The Berenstain Bears". Walden Media recently picked up the rights to the series of books and pegged Night at the Museum director Shawn Levy to produce and direct. Levy is producing under his own 21 Laps banner, has yet to hire writers for the film, but has an idea of what he wants. He tells USA Today , "It's warm-hearted comedy about family, and a different kind of family."

Levy who is known for his family films won't be going too far out on a limb with 'Bears', however he does not intend to just make yet another CGI animated film. He said, "I'd like the film to be un-ironic about its family connections but have a wry comedic sensibility that isn't oblivious to the fact that they're bears." He continued by saying, "The comedy comes from this bear family coexisting in a more recognizably real world." The director compared the film to Will Ferrell's Elf in nature and said that he would be giving the 'Bears' a slight makeover. "The Berenstain Bears" is hoping for a late 2011 release with a script and production happening by mid to late 2010.

What say you? Excited for either of these beloved cartoon updates? Strikeback...