With a matter of days before his latest feature stomps onto screens this week, Godzilla vs Kong’s director Adam Wingard is already eyeing up his next gig. No sooner has he finished tackling the arthouse iteration of two giant monsters smacking the snot out of one another, have reports from Deadline confirmed he’s now lined up to adapt a big-screen version of ThunderCats.
Based on the classic Saturday morning cartoon of the same name, ThunderCats was responsible for turning many of its audience into the cat lovers they are today. A mad blend of sci-fi and fantasy, the show focused on a heroic team of warrior cat people led by Prince Lion-O. Together, they went on various adventures on the planet Thundera but always had regular scraps with a bandaged up baddie named Mumm-ra and his cronies. Truly simpler times.
Talk of a ThunderCats film has been stirring for years, given its popularity being on par with the likes of Masters of the Universe (set for a live-action adaptation soon) and Transformers (now a long film franchise with sharp computer-generated edges). Unlike those, though, Deadline’s scoop confirms that, much like its titular team, ThunderCats will be a hybrid film mixing CGI with animation to get his favourite feline heroes on the big screen. Wingard had this passion project in his head since he was ten, even going as far as to still posess his own ThunderCats screenplay he penned when he was ten. Speaking to the site, he said:
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. My real obsession with ThunderCats came in high school, the pinnacle of me deciding I wanted to be a filmmaker, and pushing in that direction…I actually spent most of my 10th grade year, I completely blew it. I didn’t pay attention in school, made terrible grades. And the reason? I was writing my ThunderCats screenplay through my entire 10th grade year.
He’ll be working on the project with his former Death Note producers Dan Lin and Roy Lee, and while David Coggeshall had written a script that had been doing the rounds for a few years, it’ll be getting the rewrite treatment by Wingard and Simon Barrett. Already the director has assured us that this will be a feast for the eyes, but one that will avoid fitting in the same category as the last film that had talking cat people in.
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.
It sounds like Warner Bros. are happy to give Wingard the keys to a few iconic titles, with not only this but also a sequel to Face/Off sitting on his to-do list pile as well. Given the current success of Godzilla vs Kong, raking in $122 million at launch, it’s no surprise he’s getting so many dream gigs. Clearly, they can feel the magic and hear the roar as much as Wingard can. Now get Vin Diesel voicing Panthro, and we’ll be happy.