Hide your cats and your sense of American exceptionalism, kids. Sony is making a CGI/live-action, big-screen adaptation of ALF.
Y’know. ALF. The story of Planet Melmac refugee Gordon Shumway (you an call him, ALF, as in Alien Life Form) who comes to live with the suburban Tanner family, his insatiable appetite for feline flesh and sarcasm in tow. And hilarity ensues. It ran for four seasons and 102 episodes. Not bad, not historic. It did hit a series high of #10 in the ratings in 1987.
Here’s what’s weird (yeah, this ONE thing is weird): this is not the first time MamaPop has broken the news of an ALF movie. Only we were kidding. ”Ha HA! Everyone said. An ALF movie?” we mused, “La, how jolly!” MamaPop’s Joe Lyons even had the stroke of genius to suggest it as a Sigourney Weaver vehicle. All we can do now, folks, is pray he’s wrong or pray for death. Because, yes, this movie is actually, truly, for serious HAPPENING.
Sony Pictures Animation has acquired the rights.
Jordan Kerner, the producer of last year’s CGI rage-inducing Smurfs flick—and the man who brought said Smurfs to your Cap’n Crunch strewn living room every Saturday morning in the early 80s—is on board.
Paul Fusco, the man who puppeteered and voiced ALF on the sitcom, is also at the ready. Fusco has been asking for an ALF movie for years.
C’mon, Hollywood. Why? WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO US? TO ME? TO POSTERITY? Sure, I get nostalgic for ALF . It was a mind-numbingly goofy show when I hadn’t yet grown armpit hair and was still routinely reading books that were numbered (Stepsisters #3: “Now that Paige has embarrassed her stepsis in the school paper, can they ever get along?”). But the show was totally unremarkable. A sitcom that, were it not for featuring a puppet, looked like every other fish-out-of-water family 1980s sitcom: Small Wonder, Mr. Belvedere, It’s Your Move, The Charmings.
Nostalgia does not an appropriate movie concept make. This movie will cost more than it’s worth. It will tank. It will make Garfield and The Smurfs look good. It will ruin someone’s career, especially when they predictably CGI a talking cat into this mess (Martin Short, you STAY AWAY FROM THIS PROJECT, DO YOU HEAR ME?). And, worse yet, if they make any cash at all on DVD sales or Netflix licensing, these fools won’t stop here. Other nostalgia flicks based on relatively short-lived Gen X TV favorites are coming: we already know about The Fall Guy movie. Do we want to add Punky Brewster...
…or Rags to Riches movies to our national conscience? Do we want to even set the stage for a MEETING about a She’s the Sheriff movie?
I’m not sure where to turn with my incredulity and rage that Hollywood thinks so little of us. So all we can do is the democratic thing and stay involved in an ongoing dialogue with a movie industry that would deign to do this. I’ll go first and ask: but who will play Mrs. Ochmonek?