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Cranky cartoon cat Heathcliff set for rebirth

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The creators behind iconic comic strip cat Heathcliff have sealed a deal that will possibly bring the feline into pop culture prominence once again. The deal sets the stage for family cartoon studio Magic Lantern Entertainment and FitzRoy Media, which owns the rights to Heathcliff, to develop everything from direct-to-DVD releases to a potential live-action theatrical feature or TV series around the tabby in an effort to update the popular comic strip character for the 21st century.

Created in 1973 by George Gately, Heathcliff is still in print today and is produced by Gately’s nephew; the cat was the star of two early-’80s animated TV series. The first Heathcliff release will be an animated DVD special, likely to be out in 2011.