Feature animation is so hot right now that it’s not just the big studios who are announcing major projects, but also Hollywood production companies like STX Entertainment, which announced an Adam Sandler project this week, and now Alcon Entertainment, which has announced its intention to produce a series of Garfield theatrical features.

Alcon, whose primary investor is FedEx CEO and founder Fred Smith, has produced Hollywood hits like The Book of Eli and The Blind Side, but has rarely made animation, the notable exception being the 2005 live-action/CG talking animal-pic Racing Stripes. With the acquisition of Garfield movie rights, the company plans “to build a franchise of fully CG-animated Garfield feature films.” Alcon has a long-standing distribution deal with Warner Bros., which makes them the likeliest home for the Garfield films.

John Cohen, fresh off his stint producing The Angry Birds Movie, has been brought aboard to produce the film, along with Alcon’s co-founders Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove, and producer Steven P. Wegner. Garfield creator Jim Davis will serve as executive producer along with Bridget McMeel of Amuse (the film and TV division of Universal Uclick and Andrews McMeel Publishing).

“I’ve been so impressed with the quality of animation and storytelling coming out of Hollywood of late,” said Jim Davis. “I can’t wait to get into production with the terrific team Alcon has assembled.”

Garfield, a cat known for being lazy is anything but when it comes to animation. He has appeared in dozens of animated projects over the last thirty-five years, among them, two live-action/CG theatrical features (Garfield the Movie, Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties), three direct-to-video films, the 2D cel-animated series Garfield and Friends, and the CGI series The Garfield Show. And then there’s this bit, too:

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