ALF ready to touch down at Sony Pictures Animation

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Having just completed a deal to acquire rights to the 1980s sitcom ALF, Sony Pictures Animation will turn it into a feature film combining CG animation and live action.

Jordan Kerner, producer of last year’s similarly hybrid The Smurfs, is now on board.

Kerner will produce the project with series creators Tom Patchett and puppeteer Paul Fusco. Fusco is ready to repeat his TV role as the voice of the extraterrestrial houseguest.

In the original series, ALF stood for alien life form. The sitcom aired for 102 episodes from 1986 to 1990. The creature — whose name was later revealed as Gordon Shumway — was a friendly furry puppet who crash-landed on Earth, moving to the home of the suburban Tanner family. The sarcastic ALF liked to eat cats and was pursued by government forces.

DiC Enterprises and Saban Entertainment co-produced a cartoon  ALF series, which ran for 26 half-hour episodes in 1987-88. Fusco said in a May interview with The Hollywood Reporter that he hoped an ALF movie would finally be made.

The executive producers of the new movie are Ben Haber of Kerner Entertainment Co. and Kenneth Kaufman. Neither a director nor a writer has been attached.

Kaufman, Patchett and Fusco run Alien Production and have the rights to ALF. A former TV-movie producer, Kaufman is a former producing partner of Kerner’s. Their business partnership helped spark the upcoming feature film.

A longtime producer, Kerner has worked on the feature films Charlotte’s Web, The Mighty Ducks and Inspector Gadget. His most recent movie, The Smurfs, grossed over $563 million around the world.

Kerner and SPA have just completed production on The Smurfs 2, set for a July 31, 2013 release.

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