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GARFIELD: A TALE OF TWO KITTIES

About The Production
In 2004, Garfield, the world's most popular comic strip character, became a major motion picture star. His eponymous live action/computer-generated film debut, adapted from the syndicated cartoon strip read in 2,600 newspapers by 260 million readers around the globe, became a global blockbuster theatrically and on DVD. Garfield finally had an epic story that was as large as his ego – one that could barely be contained by the big screen.

Producer John Davis, whose many hits include "Doctor Dolittle” and "Daddy Day Care,” was a natural to bring "Garfield” and the all-new follow-up feature GARFIELD: A TAIL OF TWO KITTIES to life on the big screen. "It was about time that Garfield becomes a big movie star,” says Davis. "He's lazy, funny, crotchety and he has attitude. It doesn't matter if you're five years old or fifty; everyone can relate to him on some level.”

Davis is a true Garfield fan. "I loved the comic strip as a kid, and I am truly honored that [Garfield creator] Jim Davis granted me the opportunity to take that franchise and turn it into movies. I think Jim has created an icon that spans the world.”

Jim Davis (no relation to John) was, of course, delighted to see his creation become an international film sensation. "I think Garfield is popular to people of all ages for several reasons,” says Davis. "He's a very physical animal when it comes to humor, and kids love that. Teens identify with his resentment for authority; he's very much his own cat. And on an adult level, he relieves our guilt about such little foibles as over-eating, sleeping too much, not exercising enough, or being unmotivated. He has the courage to say and do a lot of things that we wouldn't. So he speaks for a lot of us.”

For Garfield's second film, John Davis wanted a bigger canvass and grander concept worthy of Garfield's worldwide big-screen stardom. "We wanted to take Garfield out of his usual environs – owner Jon Arbuckle's home on a cul-de-sac,” says Davis, "and take him to a more exotic location.” Davis again turned to Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow, the screenwriting duo behind "Garfield,” as well as the live-action comedy hits "Just Married” and "Cheaper by the Dozen,” to write Garfield's second movie adventure.

Sokolow's neighbors provided the inspiration for his and Cohen's screenplay for GARFIELD: A TAIL OF TWO KITTIES. "A married couple who lived near me had passed away, and their will stipulated that their maid could live in their home – provided the maid took care of the couple's dog,” Sokolow explains.

From that idea, Sokolow and Cohen brainstormed several other concepts they incorporated into their screenplay. "For the new film, we wanted Garfield to be a reactive comic character, and we needed to place him somewhere interesting where he could react – and make him a fish out of water,” Sokolow continues. Enter Merry Ole England… and a royal makeover for the famed feline. "There's a sense of pomp and circumstance in England that we thought we could have a lot of fun with,” says Joel Cohen. "A royal lifestyle sometimes carries a ridiculous protocol, which seemed ripe for the ‘Garfield treatment'.”

Next came the notion of a Garfield doppelganger who, while being Garfield's physical double, has a completely different personality. Working with John Davis and the studio, the writers combined these ideas; then, says Sokolow, "a light bulb went on about incorporating a prince-and-the-pauper element into the story.”

As they had done on the first "Garfield,” the writers consulted Jim Davis about the story. "Jim understands who Garfield is better than anyone else,” says Cohen. "Garfield's voice and world view is very important to Jim, and was a strong influence as we wrote the script.”

"So when we'd pitch ideas to Jim, if he didn't like something, he'd say ‘Well that's nice,' unenthusiastically,” says Sokolow. "When he really liked something, he'd<

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