With Godzilla vs. Kong set to arrive on HBO Max and in select theatres tomorrow, director Adam Wingard is looking to continue his relationship with Warner Brothers by taking on another property that he has been thinking about since he was a kid. Wingard is now attached to direct ThunderCats, a big budget movie based on the ’80s cartoon and toy line. His long-time collaborator Simon Barrett will co-write the script with him and it is being envisioned as a cross between realistic CG animation and something more stylized. Wingard was quick to point out that it will have no resemblance to the recent live-action movie Cats, however. Here’s what he had to say:
“I’m in a place where Godzilla vs. Kong has gone well with Warner Bros. They love the movie, as we were wrapping it. I heard there was a ThunderCats script out there and it happened to be set up with some of my producers on Death Note. I asked them, I want to rewrite this script with my friend 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.”
There have been several ThunderCats movies in development over the years, particularly in the wake of the success of Michael Bay’s Transformers. The most recent version of the script was written by David Coggeshall (Scream: The TV Series) but it does not seem likely that they will retain anything from it. Wingard and Barrett are also working on a Face/Off reboot / sequel. Meanwhile, ThunderCats was recently reinvented as a more comedic (and somewhat divisive) animated series for Cartoon Network called ThunderCats Roar. Do you think Wingard and Barrett can pull off a decent Thundercats movie?