So, it's happened folks. Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr broke the news last night that Grumpy Cat (oh, please, you know the one) has a movie deal. Call us grumpy, but we're not exactly overjoyed about what happens when an Internet meme gets an actual feature film deal.
Fleming reported that Todd Garner and Sean Robins of Broken Road Productions are joining up with Grumpy Cat's representatives—yes, Grumpy Cat has representatives—to "produce and assemble a package for a Garfield-like feature film with the famous frowning feline at the center." In the film, Fleming says, Grumpy Cat "will be given the power of speech." Jordan Zakarin of BuzzFeed, an Internet meme outlet which is obviously overjoyed by this development, reported that Grumpy Cat's manager said that the movie will star the real-life Grumpy Cat.
Now, let's be reasonable. There is no way a movie developed around the concept of a cat with a funny face is going to be high art. On the other hand, Grumpy Cat has a lot of goodwill on the Internet, and this might be a travesty that could bring her down. The movie might finally kill the meme—not the poor cat, just this year-long meme. Let's consider the facts. There's a good chance this movie could star Kevin James. Garner's recent producing credits include Here Comes the Boom, Zookeeper, and Paul Blart: Mall Cop. And, while it's unclear which iteration of Garfield Fleming is talking about, when was the last time you heard someone say, "Hey, Garfield made for fantastic movies! Let's try that again!"
Finally, we kind of feel bad for Grumpy Cat. Even though Katherine Rosman explains in an A1 story in the Wall Street Journal today that Ben Lashes, Grumpy Cat's manager, is out to protect the interests of Grumpy Cat and her human family, we wonder what toll a film might take on Grumpy Cat. Sure, she made an appearance at SXSW this year, and she's got a book coming out in the fall, but might all this actual acting just be making her more grumpy?