Family-based production company Waterman Entertainment has secured the rights to Heathcliff, one of the most iconic comic-strip cats (of course, he’s got to compete with Garfield for the title of the top comic-strip cat, but that battle is for another day). Cooper Waterman, head of development, made the deal directly with the rights holder, Peter Gallagher.
“Their track record is impeccable. ‘Casper,’ ‘Stuart Little’ and ‘Alvin’ are examples of incorporating elements that past audiences loved and adding a contemporary flair that makes these properties endure with a whole new generation. That is exactly what I was looking to achieve with Heathcliff,” said Gallagher. “We want our existing fans to identify with the characters they know while introducing him to an entirely new audience. As a creator I know that they will be attentive to our lasting vision for the brand and welcome our input, which is very important to me.”
The acquisition comes right after Waterman Entertainment acquired the rights to “The Brave Little Toaster” and “Mrs. Ed.” Like the future treatments to the aforementioned titles, “Heathcliff” 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.”
“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,” said Waterman. “This will allow us to confidently present ‘Heathcliff’ to a new generation and excite fans with new stories and plots.”