A ThunderCats movie has been languishing in development hell for many years, but Warner Bros. is now said to be moving forward with a feature adaptation of the classic '80s animated series with Godzilla Vs. Kong director Adam Wingard at the helm.
The movie is being developed by Rideback’s Dan Lin and Vertigo’s Roy Lee, from a script by Simon Barrett.
We had initially assumed this was going to be a live-action take, but buried in Deadline's report is the news that it's actually a CGI/animation hybrid. Apparently, Wingard "will use the animated series as a jumping off point" before taking it in a "direction he has been thinking about for many years."
The story follows a team of cat-like humanoids (Lion-O, Cheetarah, Panthro, Tigra, Jaga, Wilykit, Wilykat and Snarf) who leave the dying planet of Thundera in search of a new home for their species. They settle on a planet that comes to be known as Third Earth, where they battle Mumm-Ra and their old enemies, The Mutants, for control of Lion-O's Sword of Omens.
There have been several earlier attempts to get a ThunderCats movie off the ground, but it sounds like Wingard is the right man for the job.
“I heard there was a Thundercats script out there and it happened to be set up with some of my producers on Death Note,” the filmmaker tells Deadline. “I asked them, I want to rewrite this script with my friend [and frequent collaborator] Simon Barrett. This is a huge passion thing for me. Nobody on this planet knows or has thought as much about Thundercats as I have. They gave me the reins. I saw this as an opportunity to do a new type of fantasy sci-fi spectacle film that people have never seen before.
It’s got a rich mythology; the characters are fantastic. The colors. I want to do a Thundercats film that takes you back to that ’80s aesthetic. I don’t want to reinvent the way they look; I want them to look like Thundercats. I don’t want to do it live action, either. I don’t want it to look like Cats, I don’t want those kinds of issues, no disrespect to that director whom I don’t mean to throw under the bus any more than everyone else has. I want to do a movie you’ve never seen before. A hybrid CGI film that has a hyper real look and somehow bridges the gap between cartoon and CGI. That’s the starting point, and Simon Barrett and I are getting into the script now.”
What do you guys make of this news? Are you disappointed that it won't be live-action, or do you agree with Wingard that animation is the way to go?