Gumby to Be Reimagined in Both Live-Action and Animation by Fox

BY JEREMY DICK

Gumby is getting the reboot treatment. Per Deadline, Fox has acquired the rights to the classic green character made of clay who first appeared on TV screens in the 1950s. The company will reportedly “reimagine” Gumby with multiple new shows on various linear, digital, and blockchain platforms. Both a new animated series and live-action projects are said to already be in development with Fox in talks with “A-list creatives” to come aboard.

Fox negotiated the deal with the estate of Joseph Clokey, son of creator Art Clokey. The company acquired all rights including film, TV, and streaming, as well as consumer products, licensing, and all other categories. They’ve also picked up the full library of Gumby content, including past animated shows, specials, movies, and other various content. This will be used to expand Tubi’s offerings of Gumby content.

“Competition for globally recognized intellectual property is fierce. Uncovering this gem, with its built-in awareness and affinity, and bringing it to Fox, adds meaningful value and creative possibilities to the IP itself and to multiple divisions of our company,” said Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier in a statement. “Fox is proud to be home to these iconic characters. Welcome one and all.”

A green humanoid made out of clay, Gumby was created by Art Clokey in the early 1950s, first appearing in a 1953 stop-motion short called Gumbasia. The character later appeared for segments on Howdy Doody in the mid-1950s before he was later given his own show with NBC’s The Gumby Show.​​​​​​​ A revival series later came along in the late 1980s with a feature film, Gumby: The Movie, getting released in 1995.

Gumby Has Been Reimagined in Live-Action Before… Sort Of

Gumby has been animated many times over since the 1950s, but Fox will be taking an interest approach to reimagining the character for these planned “live-action projects.” How Gumby will translate into a live-action program or movie remains to be seen, but in a way, we have seen a version of a live-action Gumby before. That is, if we are counting the famous Saturday Night Live parody by Eddie Murphy.

In the 1980s, Murphy would portray a version of Gumby who showed a different side to his personality once the cameras stopped rolling on The Gumby Show. Murphy’s take on the character was wearing a large green suit shaped like Gumby but with a spot for his real face to be seen in the middle. In 2019, Murphy revisited his Gumby for a segment on Weekend Update when the comedian returned to host SNL.

Times have changed since The Gumby Show was at the peak of its popularity, and it will be interesting to see if reimagined versions of the iconic character can be as successful in a new era. As of now, there’s no information as to when any of the new Gumby projects might be getting released, but the gears seem to be turning quickly at Fox with the acquisition a done deal.

SOURCE: https://movieweb.com/gumby-rebooted-by-fox/

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