Garfield Animated Movie Taps "The Emperor's New Groove" Director

After two years of radio silence, the animated Garfield movie is finally moving forward with Mark Dindal on board to direct.

Dindal, who directed Disney's classic The Emperor's New Groove as well as Chicken Little, has signed on to bring the beloved Monday-hating, lasagna-loving, Odie-tolerating feline to the big screen in a new, fully animated feature (via SlashFilm).

The film, which be the latest big screen take on the iconic feline after 2004's Garfield: The Movie and its 2006 sequel Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties, will focus on the fan-favorite cat along with his owner, Jon Arbuckle, and fellow pet Odie the dog. No plot details have been shared at this time, though with Garfield having been in print since 1978 there are no shortage of ideas to draw from.

The announcement of Dindal as director is the first major progress on the Garfield film since 2016. At that time, Alcon Entertainment announced the project, but it's been quiet since. However, even with the delay, Dindal said that he's excited to come on board as comic strip characters have a "special appeal" to him.

"Comic strip characters have always had a special appeal to me," Dindal said. "To have this opportunity to make a film with a classic character like Garfield is a privilege and a thrill."

Garfield creator Jim Davis is also excited for the prospects of the film.

"I've been so impressed with the quality of animation and storytelling coming out of Hollywood of late," Davis said. "I can't wait to get into production with the terrific team Alcon has assembled."

Pre-production on the film is set to begin next month with Paul Kaplan and Mark Torgrove writing the script which Alcon co-CEO's Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove indicate will be a family friendly film.

"Jim Davis' beloved creation has been an international sensation for all ages for decades and we are thrilled to partner with Mark Dindal, who has brought delightful characters to life throughout the years," their statement read. "We are excited to see what he does with Garfield."

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Garfield has no release date at this time. Keep checking in with ComicBook.com for updates.

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