Legendary Picks Up Film, TV Rights to ‘Heathcliff’ (Exclusive)
Move over Garfield , there’s a new cat in town. Or rather, the previous cat is back and looking to score the spotlight.
Legendary has picked up the feature and TV rights to Heathcliff , the comic strip featuring the cocky and street-smart cat about town, Heathcliff. The company plans to develop both simultaneously.
The strip was created by George Gately in 1973 and ran in thousands of newspapers at its height. It is now written and drawn by Gately’s nephew, Peter Gallagher. Gallagher will act as a producer with Steve Waterman, who has served as an exec producer on such family fare as 1999’s Stuart Little and the Alvin and the Chipmunks movies.
The strip was adapted into two cartoon series in the 1980s, one produced by Ruby-Spears Productions and the second by DIC Entertainment, with both featuring animation icon Mel Blanc in one of his last voice roles.
The feline also had his own Marvel comic in the ’80s. The title was launched in 1985 as part of Marvel’s family imprint Star Comics, which was later folded into the Marvel Comics line.
The comic strip has been in syndication for 32 years, in 20 languages and 57 countries. According to Legendary, it is currently published in over 1,000 newspapers and has more than 80 million daily readers.
Heathcliff ruled the funny pages in the late 1970s and 1980s with Garfield , another feline-focused strip. Garfield also birthed movies and animated series, most notably the big-screen works from 20th Century Fox in the early 2000s.