With GODZILLA VS. KONG slated to hit theaters and HBO Max in just a few days, director Adam Wingard has already lined up another next big project in addition to the Face/Off sequel. Deadline has reported that Warner Bros. have tapped Wingard to direct a big-screen version of ThunderCats. Next to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, ThunderCats was definitely a big part of my ’80s upbringing, but it’s been ages since I’ve seen any incarnation of the franchise.
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The ThunderCats movie has been in development for some time with an early script by David Coggeshall, but Deadline says that Adam Wingard will be starting from scratch to develop a hybrid CGI animated film. The original series revolved around a group of cat-like humanoid aliens who were forced to flee their dying world and wound up on Third Earth, frequently doing battle against mutants and the forces of Mumm-Ra. The film will use the animated series as a jumping-off point, with Wingard taking it in a direction that he’s been thinking about for many years. In a separate interview with Deadline, Adam Wingard explained that ThunderCats is a dream project for him as he spent his entire tenth grade year writing a ThunderCats screenplay that wound up being 272 pages long.
I still have it. It was one of those things where I would carry around my notebooks and talk about it. I didn’t even realize the kids in my class were making fun of me as they would ask me questions about my ThunderCats screenplay. It was only one day my friends asked me and I was excitedly telling him all these things about my ThunderCats screenplay. And I heard him turn around to some of the girls in the class, these were girls I had crushes on, and he’s making fun of me for writing ThunderCats! Because it was ridiculous. But that was the first moment where I had a though that maybe I would not be able to make the ThunderCats movie.
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Flash forward over twenty years, and Warner Bros. is pleased with Adam Wingard’s work on Godzilla vs. Kong, which prompts him to bring up ThunderCats. “Nobody on this planet knows or has thought as much about ThunderCats as I have,” Wingard said. “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.” Wingard added that he doesn’t want to reinvent the look of the ThunderCats, in fact, he wants his ThunderCats film to take us back to that ’80s aesthetic. “I don’t want to do it live action, either,” Wingard explained. “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.“
Adam Wingard’s Godzilla vs. Kong will hit theaters and HBO Max on March 31st, so be sure to check out a review from our own JimmyO.