Will 'Marmaduke' Be a Dog at the Box Office?

As if the box office hairball known as Garfield never existed, Hollywood producers have gone back to the comic strip well and drawn out Marmaduke. The lovable, slobbering, goof-prone Great Dane will make his mixed live-action and CG big-screen debut next June.

Owen Wilson (Marley & Me) takes a paycheck to voice Marmaduke, just as Bill Murray did for Garfield and Jason Lee did for Underdog, and good for him. Owen’s gotta kill time before his next buddy film. Has anyone played a buddy more than Owen Wilson? According to The Hollywood Reporter, the script "sees Marmaduke navigate a volatile mutts vs. pedigrees turf war, woo the purebred of his dreams and overcome a fall from grace." In other words, Beethoven meets Bolt meets West Side Story.

The film also stars William Macy (I’ll take a paycheck, too), as well as the voices of George Lopez, Fergie, Damon Wayans and Marlon Wayans. I’m not sure if the Wayans brothers know they get paid to be in the movies. At the very least, expect a standout Fergilicious tune over the end credits.

Apparently, any comic strip is fair game for a Hollywood makeover. So as producers dig through the funny pages for story inspiration (perhaps knowing that newspapers are going the way of Betamax), don’t be surprised to see The Lockhorns, Cathy, Hagar the Horrible, Fred Basset, and Funky Winkerbean coming to a multiplex, pay-per-view channel, or airplane video screen near you.

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