Will Ferrell and Adam McKay Bringing All-Time Worst TV Show Manimal to the Big Screen


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It only ran on NBC for 8 episodes back in 1983. Its legacy is that of one of the worst television shows of all time, a title spoken about only as a punchline. Now Anchorman creators Will Ferrell and Adam McKay will bring “Manimal” to the big screen. We truly live in strange times.

Original Synopsis:
Dr Jonathan Chase… wealthy, young, handsome. A man with the brightest of futures. A man with the darkest of pasts.

From Africa’s deepest recesses to the rarefied peaks of Tibet, heir to his father’s legacy and the world’s darkest mysteries. Jonathan Chase, master of the secrets that divide man from animal, animal from man… Manimal!

“Manimal” is one of those TV show ideas that probably sounded good on paper. A dashing, aristocratic British adventurer raised in Africa (played by Simon MacCorkindale, “Falcon Crest”) gains the power to transform into any animal of his choosing (though for whatever reason he only ever seemed to turn into a black panther or a falcon). Now paired with a plucky, sexy policewoman, together they fight crime.

“Manimal” was so notoriously awful TV Guide listed it #15 on their list of the 50 worst TV shows of all time. It was so bad David Letterman used to mercilessly poke fun at it on late night show. It was so terrible that it’s actually developed a small cult following for being so appallingly bad. Seriously, go find an episode on YouTube and see how long you last. “Manimal” really lives up to its terrible legacy. If not for having a title as gimmicky as Sharknado, odds are it wouldn’t have gone on to be mostly memorable as a punchline.

Between this and Land of the Lost, it has become apparent that Will Farrell has a major soft spot for goofy TV shows of the Seventies and Eighties. Deadline broke the news that Sony Pictures Animation has set Jimmy Miller’s Mosaic and Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Gary Sanchez Productions, along with original “Manimal” co-creator Glen A. Larson, to bring the short-lived series back to life as a high concept, fx-filled, big screen action-comedy. “Key & Peele” executive producers Jay Martel and Ian Roberts will write the script.

Whether this movie will ever happen remains to be seen. I seriously have my doubts. Big screen versions of “The Greatest American Hero” and “The Fall Guy” have been languishing in development hell for ages. Either way we’re now one step closer to seeing the feature film resurrections of “Automan,” “Street Hawk,” “Misfits of Science,” and “The 100 Lives of Blackjack Savage.” Be afraid. Be very afraid.

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