These days nearly everything that ever came on to the screen in animated form is going to get a live-action version. That much is a near certainty with the way Hollywood is going with its movie productions of late. They are mining every single last drop out of what’s already come before in the animated world. The latest group of cartoons who are getting their own live-action day in the sun are the Thundercats. That’s right, according to insider Daniel Richtman, Thundercats is coming to the big screen and Adam Wingard is going to be in the director’s chair for the film.
The news about Adam Wingard developing and helming a Thundercats movie has been trickling of late with rumors picking up steam that it could happen. And why not, the story is ripe for a big-screen adaptation considering the nature of CGI and other special effects elements these days. It will help clear some of the production hurdles around this particular group of characters. Other news includes Roy Lee and Dan Lin coming on as producers for the film.
Wingard has obviously been quite interested in this project for some time now. In an interview with Deadline last week he had quite a bit to say about the group of characters, signaling that there was almost definitely something in the works. Among other things, here’s what Wingard had to say:
“ThunderCats is a dream project for me. When I was in high school, I was obsessed with it. You’d think at that point, I was a little too old, that my years of obsession with ThunderCats would be when I was 6 years old…I was writing my ThunderCats screenplay through my entire 10th grade year. And I was hand-writing it. The screenplay itself ended up being 272 pages long…As it turns out, when you’re a kid in Alabama with no resources or connections to filmmaking, it is impossible to make a ThunderCats film. But flash forward, 20 years later and here we are.”
The titular Thundercats were popular Saturday morning animated fare starting in the mid-1980s and running for four seasons. The group lives on Third Earth and are half-human, half-cat-like creatures who are locked in a struggle with Mumm-Ra, a demon mummy-like creature who wants to take their power. The Thundercats are lead by Lion-O who wields the Eye of Thundera, a sword that gives the user superpowers.
Other Thundercats that we will likely see in a live-action version, joining Lion-O will be Panthro, Tygra, Cheetara, and of course Snarf. How they handle these characters in a live-action setting without it being off-putting (I’m looking at you Cats) remains to be seen. There are a lot of ways for this kind of adaptation to get a little funky. The characters, in the animated form, are a cool bunch and the storylines were actually fairly layered even for the 1980s, but the look of the characters themselves could prove a heavier lift.
As for Adam Wingard, before he gets a live-action Thundercats up onto the screen he has Godzilla vs. Kong out in theaters now. That film fell some victim to the pandemic in the sense that theaters haven’t fully come back to full capacity these days and it was a big-budget film well underway when things started to shut down last year. That being said, it’s been out for less than a week now and is reporting box office numbers in the $120 million range. Considering the budget was in the $160 million range, this might end up doing all right when it’s all said and done even with the circumstances.
Wingard, in addition to the most recent film, and this Thundercats news is also planning on a sequel to the hit Face/Off. So the guy is as busy as ever and soon we’ll be getting the famous, “Thunder, Thunder, Thunder, Thundercats…HO!!!”