Columbia Pictures confirmed today that the animated reboot of Garfield featuring Chris Pratt as the voice of the lasagna eating cat officially has a release date and will arrive in theaters on February 16, 2024. In addition to the Guardians of the Galaxy star lending his voice to the Jim Davis-created, Monday-hating, orange feline, his fellow Marvel cohort Samuel L. Jackson will also be along for the ride. As if news of a new Garfield movie featuring Chris Pratt as the title comic strip character couldn't get any weirder, Jackson will voice an all-new character in the film, Vic, Garfield's father.
Mark Dindal of The Emperor's New Groove and Chicken Little will direct the film which features a script by David Reynolds, the Academy Award nominated co-writer of Finding Nemo and other animated films like Atlantis: The Lost Empire and Mulan. Alcon Entertainment previously acquired the rights to Garfield from creator Jim Davis, who will executive produce. John Cohen, Steven P. Wegner, Andrew Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Namit Malhotra and Tom Jacomb will produce the film while Bridget McMeel and Craig Sost will serve as executive producers.
It's worth noting that Sony's dating of Garfield on February 16, 2024 puts it up against another movie, an untitled Marvel Studios film. Kevin Feige recently unveiled the full plans for Phase 5 in the Marvel Cinematic Universe at San Diego Comic-Con and though multiple movies and shows were revealed, the film previously marked for this date went without an official announcement. Marvel Studios may have very well set this date a long time ago and have simply moved the project originally intended for that date to another time or cancelled it altogether. A handful of other animated movies are earmarked for that same time like WB's Toto, an animated retelling of The Wizard of Oz from the dog's POV, and an "Untitled Universal Animated Event Film."
It's unclear what the larger story of the animated Garfield movie will be when it's released but it will mark the third attempt at releasing a Garfield feature film in theaters. The previous movies, live-action/animated hybrids were released by 20th Century Fox and featured Ghostbusters actor Bill Murray voicing the tile cat.
Despite lending his voice to high profile projects in the past like The LEGO Movie and Pixar's Onward, many were surprised by the casting of Pratt as not only Garfield but also Mario in the highly anticipated Super Mario Bros. movie from Universal and Nintendo. It's unclear what kind of vocal performance the actor will give for either project, but eating some lasagna as research for either isn't a bad idea.