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I was a little surprised when a solo movie vehicle for interplanetary Looney Tune zealot Marvin the Martian was announced but that was some time ago and since then, I assumed it was dying a slow death out in the cold. Not so, apparently and Alex Zamm, director of the upcoming Bevery Hills Chihuahua 2 and previously attached to a Hong Kong Phooey adaptation, has been tapped to take on directing duties.

The only one of Zamm’s movies that I’ve actually seen was Inspector Gadget 2, which he also co-wrote, and I have to say that I don’t remember it very favourably. Maybe he’s come on in leaps and bounds since then? I certainly share this love of cartoons he’s apparently indulging, and I respect his desire to elasticise some live action movies into toon territory.

It’s been so long since the Marvin movie was last talked about I’m a little surprised they’ve kept the original story premise. It’s a bad one too.

Here’s Peter’s version of the film’s set-up from a report in July of 2008:

The pitch is aimed at the family demographic and will be packaged as a Christmas movie. Marvin comes to Earth to destroy Christmas but becomes trapped in a gift box.

Oh, great. So he becomes some kind of Gremlins-cum-Toy Soldiers gift with a dangerous side? Does he end up learning the true meaning of Christmas? It’s going to take a lot of sincerity and a lot more skill and wit to make this one fly. Maybe Joe Dante was the director Warner Bros. really wanted, but they’d be lucky to get him to just return their calls, I’d guess, after the way he was treated on Looney Tunes Back in Action.

The LA Times report that Paul Kaplan and Mark Torgove are on scripting duties. They wrote the spoofish CHiPS film that has been stalled since 2005 as well as episodes of Spin City and George Lopez and, honestly, they don’t even do as much as Zamm to inspire confidence.

While no voice cast has been named, the Times story does evoke Mike Myers as a possibility, just “one name that’s come up”. He’s as good a choice as anybody, I’m sure.

While I’m wanting them to have Marvin animated in a hand drawn style, I’m sure they won’t. I really will have a little tantrum if they decide to motion capture him, however, because that’s just not how he moves. He moves like a toon.

Even more importantly, they need to get his personality right. An off-centre Marvin would be worse than no Marvin at all.

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