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‘Marvin the Martian’ prepares for liftoff

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The Na’vi may be protecting Pandora this weekend, but come Christmas 2011, Marvin the Martian will try to destroy things here on Earth.

The Looney Tunes character is getting his own movie -- and now that movie has a director and writers, and could soon even have a star to lend Marvin his voice.

Warner Bros. and producer Alcon Entertainment (the company behind the fall sensation ‘The Blind Side’) are bringing aboard a director named Alex Zamm to oversee the misadventures of the cartoon alien. Zamm is an up-and-comer who is also signed on to direct ‘Hong Kong Phooey,’ the film version of the 1970s Hanna Barbera cartoon (that movie, from some of the same producers, could still happen, but probably not before the Marvin film).

The Marvin picture now also has writers -- Paul Kaplan and Mark Torgove, two television veterans (they’ve written and.produced shows like ‘Spin City') who also are writing the upcoming ‘CHiPS’ movie. Yes, it’s a remake universe that we live in.

And the producers are talking to a number of stars. One name that’s come up is Mike Myers, no stranger to voice roles given his work on the Shrek franchise.

The plot for ‘Marvin’ will remain what it was when it was first announced in the summer of 2008: Marvin comes to Earth to try to destroy Christmas, but his plans are foiled when he gets trapped inside a gift box.

Filmmakers are aiming to get going on some of the visual work in 2010, with the idea to bring out the movie during the holiday season of 2011. Marvin will be a CG creation, surrounded by live-action actors in the manner of ‘Alvin & The Chipmunks,’ which this Christmas will again show why studios are going animal-crazy for this kind of hybrid.

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Marvin the Martian was of course a nemesis of Bugs Bunny, often posing a real threat in contrast to Yosemite Sam’s more bumbling one. No word on whether Bugs will make a cameo in the movie, but given the way library characters get recycled these days, it would be surprising if that were all, folks.

-- Steven Zeitchik

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Picture: Marvin the Martian. Credit: Cartoon Network


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