Now that Godzilla vs. Kong is set to duke it out Wednesday, director Adam Wingard is free to reboot another beloved IP. According to Deadline, the Death Note and Blair Witch director has signed on to direct a motion picture based on the 1980s animated children’s show ThunderCats, which follows the adventures of Lion-O, Cheetara, and a host of other feline humanoid aliens. The initial series ran from 1985 to 1989, with Cartoon Network airing a reboot, developed by Ethan Spaulding and Michael Jelenic, for one season in 2011. The ThunderCats movie’s screenplay, written by David Coggeshall, with Wingard and Simon Barrett doing a rewrite, reportedly finds the ThunderCats fleeing their “dying planet Thundera” to find a new home.
On Monday, Wingard told Deadline that he has been obsessed with ThunderCats since childhood, even going so far as to write a movie in his spare time. “I actually spent most of my 10th grade year, I completely blew it,” he says. “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. And I was hand-writing it. The screenplay itself ended up being 272 pages long.” Honestly, given the length of the Snyder Cut, Wingard might be able to just produce it as is.
While his movie will allegedly be a live-action hybrid, the director vows that the ThunderCats themselves will not look like any other cats you’ve seen before. “This is a huge passion thing for me. Nobody on this planet knows or has thought as much about ThunderCats as I have,” Wingard says. “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,” explains the director. “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 hyperreal look and somehow bridges the gap between cartoon and CGI.” Hey, nobody plans on their film looking like Cats; it just happens. If things go awry and Wingard ends up with another Cats on his hands, hopefully he’ll at least do the right thing by his audience and release the butthole cut.