Another day, another instance of Chris Pratt voicing a famous animated character seemingly out of nowhere. Alcon Entertainment and Sony Pictures just announced that the star of Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy, and the voice of characters in The Lego Movie and Onward, will provide the voice of the lasagna-loving, Monday-hating orange cat Garfield in a brand new animated film based on the popular comic character. And immediate reactions are just “Really?”
Don’t forget, a few weeks back the news broke that Pratt would be voicing video game icon Mario in a new Super Mario Bros. movie. Pratt — who seems to have as much in common with the heroic Italian plumber as he does his dino co-stars in the Jurassic franchise — is now voicing Garfield, a character known for being morose and sarcastic (see: previous Garfield-voicer Bill Murray). Pratt certainly has the saracsm thing down but he’s about as downtrodden as a bolt of lightning.
From a strictly character perspective, the casting just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense — though from a “we need an agreeable star to get financing and or butts in the seats,” it does. He’s generally well-liked as an actor, has plenty of big hits, and a good amount of talent. And though he’s had his fair share of negative publicity for the beliefs of his church, he’s tried to combat that. Plus he’s still getting plenty of work, having just stared in the Amazon hit The Tomorrow War, as well as the upcoming Jurassic World Dominion.
But Garfield? Mario? To go along with Emmet from The Lego Movie and Barley from Onward? Can’t someone else have a shot? There are legions of incredibly talented voice actors out there who might not be as famous as Pratt because they don’t usually show their faces, but if the face is going to be Garfield anyway, that character is more famous than anyone you could get to voice him.
This film does, at least, have a new look for Garfield which is more in line with the comic strips (the image at the top is an official look). And the script is from David Reynolds (Finding Nemo) who is working with director Mark Dindal (Chicken Little, Emperor’s New Groove). So there’s a good chance this take on Garfield will find its audience. But it’s still a bit weird that Pratt continues to get these roles.