This week, Will Ferrell and producing partner Adam McKay announced that their next project will be a “live-action/animation hybrid” based on a short-lived 1983 TV series that was named one of the worst shows of all time by TV Guide. It’s called Manimal, and it’s about a wealthy doctor who fights crime by morphing into different animals. The show was scheduled opposite Dallas, so we’re going to assume that if you were alive then you were keeping up with J.R. & Co. rather than Manimal. Here’s a look at the animal-assisted crimefighting series we all missed.
The show was by all accounts terrible (and was canceled after eight episodes), but it’s garnered something of a cult following owing to its sheer campy ridiculousness, something Ferrell and McKay no doubt intend to capitalize on. “Like The Catcher In The Rye or The Sound And The Fury, Manimal has always been one of those elusive projects every producer dreams of taking to the silver screen,” McKay told Deadline. “I know the movie will be funny and entertaining, but will it be the first film to win a Pulitzer? We’ll just have to see.”
Here’s a video of the original Manimal — played by Simon MacCorkindale — morphing into a panther, which looks like a supremely painful process:
And here’s him morphing into a hawk. He would mainly morph into a panther or a hawk, because why would you ever want to morph into anything else? Let’s be real here.
Key & Peele’s Ian Roberts and Jay Martel are attached to write the script, and while Ferrell has not yet been announced to star, we’re hard-pressed to think of anyone better suited to embody the tagline “master of the secrets that divide man from animal, animal from man,” which, yes, is the real tagline.