EXCLUSIVE: Family-based production outfit Waterman Entertainment has made a deal to develop a feature film based on Mr. Ed, the sitcom about a man and his talking horse that ran on CBS from 1961-66. The company is trying to build a stable of successful family brands that can be developed into live-action/CGI feature film properties and Mr. Ed certainly seems to fit that bill. Based on the VFX advancements that allowed for primate facial expressions in Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, there is an opportunity to depict Mr Ed talking more convincingly than he did on the old TV series. There, the horse’s deep voice was accompanied by a visual that looked like someone put peanut butter on the roof of the horse’s mouth.
Mr. Ed has run a few laps around the development track before, with proposed TV series and several movies, including most recently one at Fox 2000. Past attempts never got to the start gate, but maybe Waterman Entertainment will fare better. The show has a distinctive theme song, and while I don’t consider myself completely fossilized yet, I strangely remember every word of it. Over the past 12 months, Waterman has been aggressively seeking out family-friendly brands that have franchise potential and ancillary viability on platforms including television, digital, literary, and merchandising. There is a track record of making movies that put words in critters’ mouths with great success. (more…)