Seth McFarlane

Seth McFarlane is finally making a move towards the big-screen. Sure he’s already appeared (in one way or another) in Hellboy 2 and The Tooth Fairy, but he’s now moving into a starring role. Or at least his voice is…

Per Deadline Miami NY, Universal has offered McFarlane a home for his $65 million comedy called Ted. The film, co-written by McFarlane, is about a man and his talking teddy bear. The bear will be voiced by McFarlane and is expected to be a CGI creation similar to the furry creatures in Alvin & the Chipmunks, Garfield, and the upcoming Marmaduke. As expected from the man behind Fox’s long-running hit Family Guy, the movie is already being called a ‘hard R’ comedy, so expect the bear to be foul mouthed, sex-starved, and possibly carnivorous. Which admittedly, would be pretty damn cool.

I was prepared to ask what exactly that $65 million budget is for… because really, it’s one CGI character. But a quick glance at the budgets for some other movies featuring CGI central characters shows the average cost ranging from $76 million for The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle to $120 million for Stuart Little. The difference of course is that these two, as well as several other movies with an expensive CGI lead, were aimed at the very lucrative kiddie film market. The most successful ‘hard R’ comedies seem to be the ones with more reasonable budgets that allow a lot more room for a profit margin. Ted also seems a tad similar to the upcoming Mel Gibson/Jodie Foster movie The Beaver, although that one uses a puppet and acknowledges upfront that Gibson’s character is just plain nuts.

McFarlane’s domination of TV is well established, and regardless of the criticisms tossed his way his three shows are immensely popular. I’ve never watched The Cleveland Show, but Family Guy beams out of my TV on occasion. It’s a funny show, sometimes even hilarious, but the criticism that it relies way too much on one-off jokes unrelated to the “story” is a valid one. I would also add that Peter Griffin is not and has never been a funny character. His buffoonery is modeled on Homer Simpson to a degree, but he crosses the line into obnoxiousness and cruelty in every single episode. And the less said about American Dad the better…

But dammit, Ted may be a ‘hard R’ comedy about a dirty bear who eats the ladies out of house and home. So I’ll be there opening night.

What do you think of Seth McFarlane heading to the big-screen? Is $65 million too much to spend on an R-rated comedy?

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