April Fools!

Pixar have today announced that Sam & Max will be heading to the big screen in an upcoming live action film. The film, tentatively titled Sam & Max, will not only be the first time that the detective duo have come to life on film, but also Pixar’s first departure from animation.

James Spader (Sam) and Danny DeVito (Max)

James Spader (Sam) and Danny DeVito (Max)

The film is due to start filming in July 2014 and is scheduled for release in Summer 2016.

James Spader (Pretty in Pink, Stargate) and Danny DeVito (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Batman Returns) will play Sam and Max respectively.

The film will see the pair travelling across the world and through space as they hunt down Lord Fool, a nefarious criminal who is holding the galaxy’s sugar supply hostage.

However, Sam & Max’s reputation precedes them and Lord Fool is willing to stop at nothing to thwart their plans – even if that involves the end of the universe as we know it.

Further details are scarce, but it is expected that information will begin to surface as the film heads towards shooting.

Pixar’s move to live action has not been without controversy. It has been rumoured that the heads at Pixar, famed for films such as Toy Story and Finding Nemo, are looking to move away from animation altogether. One insider claimed that a company-wide email wrote that animation was “a dying art form” and that “the only true art is real life”.

Steve Purcell, creator of Sam & Max, is already a Pixar employee and will be serving as co-director on the film alongside Dan Scanlon.

Steve PurcellI’ve had many offers over the years to have Sam & Max turned into a film. One of the most memorable approaches was from director M. Night Shyamalan. He had some crazy idea that Sam was in a mental asylum, dreaming that he was a detective with his childhood pet rabbit being his sidekick. I wasn’t really keen on the idea.

I’ve actually been trying to get this film green lit at Pixar for a long time now. The idea kept getting batted away due to current market place realities and underlying economic considerations. However, the stars eventually aligned and the project has been moving quickly ever since.

Sam & Max have been in comics, games and on TV, so it feels right to move to film. However, it’s strange to see them portrayed by actors. I do see the appeal, though. It turns out that hiring actors saves big strain on the animators. I’m thinking of employing the technique for all my future comics.

– Steve Purcell, Sam & Max creator

What do you make of today’s news? Are you excited to see Sam & Max finally heading to the big screen, or wary about it being live action? Let us know in the comments below.