News broke this week (fittingly on a Monday) that Chris Pratt will be voicing the titular feline in a new Garfield movie, replacing Bill Murray and any lingering hope you had that an animated children’s movie will ever be made again without the involvement of Chris Pratt. But if Hollywood is really going to cast the hyper-exuberant Pratt as a lethargic pasta-addict, at the very least, they should give us the Garfield movie the viewing public deserves: Garfield’s Judgment Day.

The canceled ‘80s project was originally a TV movie in which the loveable cat stares down death itself during an apocalyptic tornado. Despite the fact that a feature-length script was finished, with songs written and even recorded, no one wanted to make it because the story was so goddamn dark.

Creator Jim Davis’ idea was later turned into a picture book by writer Kim Campbell and … yeah, it’s pretty intense. Imagine Take Shelter, but starring Garfield. The story begins with Garfield succumbing to an inexplicable sense of “dread.” At a secret meeting of all the neighborhood pets, the other animals, too, have psychically sensed a coming storm with the potential to “destroy” the entire town.

Most consequential to the larger Garfield canon, at the meeting, it’s revealed that Garfield and all of the other pets can communicate with humans; they just choose not to because of a “pact with all the other cats and dogs of the world.” Garfield insists that they should break this rule to warn the humans about their impending doom. In order to preserve the conceit of the comic in the wake of this universe-changing development, Garfield suggests that if everyone survives, they simply “stop talking and pretend the whole thing never happened” afterward.

So in this story, Garfield actually talks to Jon, who then A) questions his own sanity and B) presumably wonders why Garfield couldn’t have warned him not to drink a cupful of dog semen.

Ballantine Books

Garfield, Jon, and Odie then make their way to an abandoned movie theater to safely hole up, navigating heavy winds and downed power lines.

Ballantine Books

After narrowly avoiding total destruction and staring death itself in the face, Garfield discovers a newfound joy of life beyond simply devouring Italian food and loathing days of the week. So yeah, why not make that movie? Or at the very least give us a prestige drama about the ups and downs of Garfield’s failed automated restaurant business.

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Top Image: Ballantine Books

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