〉After twenty-two years, the cartoon duo are preparing to make a return to the silver screen.
Warner Bros. has a new feature version of TOM AND JERRY in the works. The film will mark the second theatrically released feature starring the characters, after Phil Roman’s 1992 film Tom and Jerry: The Movie. The studio is currently looking for a writer and searching for the right take on the characters. Cate Adams and Jesse Ehrman will oversee the project for the studio.
Warner previously announced a live action Tom and Jerry film in 2009, but ultimately decided against the direction of the project, which was going to be in the vein of the 2007 film Alvin and the Chipmunks. Sherlock Holmes producer Dan Lin was attached to the project, with a screenplay by Eric Gravning. The current project is being developed as an animated film, in the vein of the source material.
Created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, the characters were first introduced to the public in the MGM theatrical short Puss Gets the Boot in 1940. During the original run of the characters under MGM between 1940 and 1957, 114 short films were created, winning seven academy awards for best animated short.
Following the Hanna Barbera run, the property was acquired by Gene Deitch, who produced thirteen shorts featuring the characters, moving on to Chuck Jones, who produced thirty-four additional shorts. The characters gained mass popularity with the initial television airing of the Hanna Barbera shorts on CBS in 1965. The characters would continue to be introduced to new generations as the shorts would continue to re-air on multiple networks, including Cartoon Network.
The last theatrical entry was released by Miramax Pictures, entitled Tom and Jerry: The Movie, in 1992. The film was produced and directed by Phil Roman, with a screenplay by Dennis Marks. The film failed to resonate due to the focus on making a musical-comedy instead of featuring the characters in their classic slapstick environments. The film remains the only wide released feature starring the characters.
Warner Bros. first acquired the property in 2006. The studio released a series of Saturday morning cartoons titled Tom and Jerry Tales, which aired between 2006 and 2008. The studio then revived the characters for Cartoon Network in 2014, with the release of two eleven minute animated shorts.
The characters have appeared in a number of direct to video feature releases, with the 2014 film Tom and Jerry: The Lost Dragon being the most recent. Warner is looking to reinvent the characters for a mass audience once again with their current project.
Lou Chase | Staff Writer