Sony Developing ‘ALF’ Movie From ‘Smurfs’ Producer & Paul Fusco

Published 3 years ago by , Updated August 9th, 2012 at 4:11 am,

alf movie family Sony Developing ALF Movie From Smurfs Producer & Paul Fusco

Hollywood is continuing to plunder the casket of cherished 1980s franchises for movie ideas, following the box office success (and mixed critical response) for 21st Century takes on Transformers, G.I. Joe, and 21 Jump Street. Just last week, in fact, we learned the Masters of the Universe reboot is still chugging along. It’s comes as little surprise, then, that ginger (he prefers burnt sienna) extraterrestrial Gordon Shumway – better known as Alien Life Form or ALF – is being brought out of retirement for a feature-length movie.

Earlier this year, ALF co-creator (and the voice/puppeteer behind the title character) Paul Fusco announced he’s pitching ideas for a film treatment. Sony Pictures Animation has closed a deal for the rights to the ALF franchise, setting Fusco and fellow co-creator Tom Patchett as producers alongside Jordan Kerner. The latter is well-versed in the “art” (or something like that…) of adapting nostalgic TV series into financially successful films, with such titles as George of the Jungle, Inspector Gadget, and The Smurfs under his belt.

Heat Vision reports the ALF movie will be a hybrid of CGI and live-action (a la The Smurfs). Kenneth Kaufman and Smurfs alum Ben Haber are executive producing, though neither a screenwriter nor director are set right now. Fusco will be voicing the eponymous extraterrestrial protagonist again in addition to producing.

The original ALF TV show is a sci-fi sitcom where the titular alien – a creature with a rippled snout, eight stomachs, and a taste for felines, among other eccentricities – crash lands into the garage of the Tanners, a regular family that dwells in the San Fernando Valley suburbs. Much of the series concerns the wacky shenanigans that ensue as the Tanners struggle to keep ALF a secret. Meanwhile, ALF copes with the culture shock of life on Earth in the aftermath of his home planet’s destruction. ALF (the show) ran from 1986-90 on NBC, giving rise to an animated prequel series in 1987, a Marvel comic series that ran for 50 issues, a ’90s TV movie that picked up several years after the original show, and a short-lived talk show/parody called ALF’s Hit Talk Show in 2004.

Fusco previously offered THR the following about his approach to an ALF movie:

“ALF could be more outspoken now than ever, because the world is a whole different place than the ’80s. And I think the character still stands up and certainly has more to say now than ever. I think we would approach it in a fresh way. I don’t think we would duplicate the TV show, but I think we would maybe put it in a storyline where we would explain how ALF got here and put him with a new family and let the character speak for himself.”

alf movie Sony Developing ALF Movie From Smurfs Producer & Paul Fusco

Filmmakers such as Michael Bay (Transformers), as well as Phil Lord and Chris Miller (21 Jump Street), have distinct voices that came through loud and clear in their respective updated takes on ’80s properties (for better or worse). The latter, in particular, is widely regarded as an ingenious reinvention of its inspiration for a new generation - one that successfully satirized its own existence as a cash-grab banking on moviegoer nostalgia. ALF arguably lends itself to a similar, self-aware treatment that pokes fun at the title character’s revival and reaction to the current cultural zeitgeist – if the right personnel are hired, that is.

Sony is (surprisingly) taking such a “bold” approach with its 3D Popeye movie, attaching Genndy Tartakovsky – the mind behind Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack, and the studio’s upcoming Hotel Transylvania – to direct. That’s an encouraging sign, for sure, but not one that guarantees the studio will also hire an outside-the-box storyteller for ALF (as opposed to a “safe” director-for-hire).

We’ll keep you updated on ALF as the story develops.


Source: THR

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  1. yeeey another pointless eighties movie with s*** producers, how could this possible fail?

  2. I am and always have been a HUGE fan of ALF. I absolutely adored the 80′s television program and I have always remained an outspoken proponent for his eventual revitalization.

    However, it seriously pains me that Sony and especially Mr. Fusco, the man himself, would EVER consider turning this beloved TV icon into a CGI abomination. I cannot begin to express my upmost dissatisfaction at this disparaging turn of events.

    • If only you could write this movie.

    • KEEP ALF A PUPPET and keep your audience happy

  3. Listen, I grew up in the 80′s, I loved the 80′s, my MP3 player is filled with 80′s music …but come on now. Alf the movie?, about 30 years too late?! Surely Hollywood can try some original, current, material.

  4. No Sly, original current material costs money. How can you spin turd into gold if your paying millions for original material decent writers and directors? The industry is becoming ever more transparent, like most things in this country it’s become a shameless money clawing swindle. I hope these companies tank in my lifetime.

  5. Alf is the family dog. He eats cats and his wisdom is timeless. That’s what separates him from the characters in “Dinosaurs” who were also from a doomed world, like the aliens in the cartoon.
    And he hosted Hollywood Squares.

  6. “And he hosted Hollywood Squares”…


    That’s gold!

    ALF was always social commentary in the same way “Mork and Mindy” was.
    Taken out of context, the jokes in either show don’t work.

    ALF and Mork where always having a crack at what was topical that week/month.

    Anyway, I’m going to get my cat’s safely hidden and wait to see how this develops.”

    • Yeah but if a Mork ever gave a bad report about Earth, who knows what Orson would have done…

  7. So I guess we have to look forward to Family Ties , Charles in Charge, Cheers, Golden Girls, Small Wonder , and Facts of Life the motion pictures then eh?

    • If they did Small Wonder it would have to be like Matthew Broderick’s Inspector Gadget. There would be crappy cgi effects everywhere to remind you the girl talks that way because she’s a robot and not severely traumatized.

  8. haaaa, sony wants to mess something else up. what’s new? makes me very sad my main man alf is going to be recycled and put into this mess we call movies now. i’ll stick to watching the hub to take me back to my childhood. never saw the smurfs but didn’t look good at all or am i wrong?

  9. Please don’t destroy the story line f Alf of old. It should be either along the lines of 30 years on or similar to the cartoon series on Malmac (his home planet)

  10. The only thing remotely appealing about this is the return of this is the return of the original man behind ALF… but come on. I have all four seasons of the original series on dvd… this just feels like it will be a huge misstep. CGI would only work if the entire film was cgi, like Despicable Me or a load of other films… the live action/cgi animated character hybrid, doesn’t work for these kinds of properties. It’s not to say it can’t work, but that involves attaching top notch talent to a good idea… and that certainly isn’t going to come from the producers of The Smurfs live action adaptation.

  11. why am l so sure they’re f*** up my childhood with this?

  12. Aaaaaaand another childhood memory raped. Alf without the Tanners? No, thanks.

  13. l’m usually not one to jump at CGI, but Afl is a puppet. That’s one of the best things about him. l hate the fact that they’ll take that away.
    Sounds pretty bad so far. Hopefully the charm of the original series will remain

  14. NO please… what the heck i thought the writers strike was over, is this all they can come up with? Really?

  15. this is a terrible terrible terrible idea

  16. Please, I beg of you. Yes, you! Do NOT waste your money on this sort of stuff. Someone should slap you every time you even think about it!

  17. Next up… Max Headroom..

    • The scary thing about that is, Matt Frewer can still play the role. That heavy make-up/prosthetic job will completely hide his age.

      • But can you imagine how much darker Max Headroom could be these days?

        “Woah! Her TV has an ‘Off’ button!”

        “Yep, She’ll get 30 years for that…”

        or the classic

        “Edison, what have you been accused of?”

        “Credit Fraud”

        “That’s bad, murder would have been easier…”

        • I would MUCH rather they bring back Max than this atrocity.

  18. if it´s anarcho-humour and funny as hell,like the show was for me as a kid,then i´m in.

    • No, I think it’s antidisestablishmentarianist.

  19. really pathetic. With so many possibilities out there, Sony has to pull this crap.

  20. yes our childhoodmemories like some say here get -raped-. but there are so many generations and kids who don´t know him. is there a law which does forbid to reboot childhood.memories. guys don´t get so sentimental,why not give todays kids our childhoodheroes in a new way to media ?

    • I would hope the rape analogy is just a joke for some people, it’s just not that serious. I was always told growing up that watching too much television was a waste of time and they would repeat it anyway, little did we know they would also rehash everything years later. People should probably do more to create childhood memories that don’t involve mass media, it is just visual fast food after all. Kids should also read more, having your own imagination helps counter-act some of the dreck that’s out there.

  21. Haha!!
    Only because of the anonymity of the Internet I can say here that I was a big ALF fan when I was younger. ;)
    I highly doubt I would watch this movie though. Seriously, is there a group of people clamoring to see this??? Enough so that millions of dollars needs to be spent?
    I can’t imagine there is, but what do I know?? :)

  22. If ALF is a puppet and the script is good,I might watch.

    Then again, the TV movie was bad, the only good part was the military base interview tape section at the start before ALF escapes.

  23. Why don’t the makers of 80s series understand that the fans of these series are now adults, and want good movies, not the kiddie crap that Smurfs turned out to be (and the other adaptations mentioned were all lame too).

    If you want to make a movie for kids, make one with characters the kids know, not one their parents know and will be sorely disappointed with (well, for themselves, not for their kids).

    I can see the business side of it (the parents want to share their beloved characters with their kids), but the parents should be able to enjoy the movie too.

  24. !!!

  25. It’s been a little over 2 years since the announcement of Sony acquiring rights to make ‘ALF’ movie. I’d been waiting for news of proposed film adaptation of this classic ’80s sitcom. I remember watching the show in syndicated reruns about 20 years ago, and fell in love with it. This was the type of show that spoke to me.

    With the movie, I hope that the script/screenplay will be decently written, and respectful to the fans of this classic show. If the move is to explore ALF’s life on Melmac before his journey to Earth, I’d be okay with CGI. Otherwise, I prefer the puppet version. I would be open to seeing cameo appearances by original show cast (Max Wright/Willie, Anne Schedeen/Kate, Andrea Elson/Lynn, Benji Gregory/Brian, Liz Sheridan/Raquel, Jim J. Bullock/Neal, Anne Meara/Dorothy, Josh Blake/Jake, etc.). We’re awaiting news on who’ll be casted in the human character roles, and filming to begin, if the movie is to be released sometime in 2015 or 2016.

    My dream cast: I could picture Ben Stiller as Willie and Monica Potter as Kate… maybe D.B. Sweeney as Trevor, Jennifer Tilly as Raquel, Swoosie Kurtz as Dorothy, and Joaquin Phoenix as Neal… the roles of Lynn and Brian Tanner, and Jake Ochmonek being casted to newcomers. Stiller is Meara’s son in real-life.