Your childhood continues to be pillaged. Waterman Entertainment, the company currently working on new The Brave Little Toaster and Mr. Ed features, has announced that they’ve snapped up the rights to Heathcliff (aka Heathcliff and The Catillac Cats, if you’re cool like that). Well, fine.
In a press release issued today, Waterman reveals that they have picked up the feature rights to chronicle the “mischievous” orange cat and his hijinks for some family-friendly material (crap, that actually sounds kind of sweet). The company’s Head of Development, Cooper Waterman, said about the deal, “When working in concert with the creators and rights holders, you are able to tap their wealth of knowledge on the character and ensure the storylines remain true to the brand and their global fan base. This will allow us to confidently present Heathcliff to a new generation and excite fans with new stories and plots.” Oh, gosh, that does sound nice (I don’t know how to feel!).
Waterman’s new Heathcliff feature will be “reimagined as a CGI/live action film with contemporary storylines, while preserving the original essence that the respective right’s holders created for each of the characters” because that’s just how things go these days. Waterman also picked up global licensing and merchandising rights to Heathcliff, which will come in handy when they also produce thirteen original television episodes about the character. Seriously, these guys are into Heathcliff.
As a character, Heathcliff was first conceived of by George Gately, who made him the center of an eponymous comic strip started in 1973. “Heathcliff” the comic is still going strong today, with Gately’s own nephew, Peter Gallagher (no, not not Eyebrows McGee) writing and drawing the strip (Gallagher is also the current rights holder of the property and the one who made the deal with Waterman). Heathcliff the animated series debuted in 1984, following the 1980 series, Heathcliff and Dingbat.
Like Garfield, Heathcliff is orange and silly. Unlike Garfield, he likes rolling garbage cans around and cozying up to his lovely lady cat, Sonja. Also, Heathcliff’s best friend is basically a pimp.