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  • Writer's pictureAaron Fonseca

ThunderCats Movie Recruits Godzilla vs. Kong's Adam Wingard

Godzilla vs. Kong director Adam Wingard is taking on the directorial role in the Warner Bros. hybrid adaptation of popular '80s cartoon Thundercats

Adam Wingard, director of Godzilla vs. Kong, has been tapped to helm Warner Bros. Pictures' take on the popular ThunderCats animated series.

According to Deadline, Wingard's ThunderCats will be a hybrid of CGI and animation to deliver a unique perspective on Lion-O, Mumm-Ra and the rest of the ensemble cast of heroes and villains. The Godzilla vs. Kong director is said to be a huge fan of the franchise, and will reportedly tell an original tale of the ThunderCats after introducing them to a new generation of fans.

Wingard will team with Simon Barrett on the film's script, which they are rewriting from David Coggeshall's original version. Death Note producers Dan Lin (Rideback) and Roy Lee (Vertigo) originally developed the ThunderCats project for Warner Bros.

"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 ThunderCatswould be when I was six years old," Wingard told Deadline. "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 tenth grade year. And I was hand writing it. The screenplay itself ended 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."

After being teased by his classmates about his ThunderCats screenplay, Wingard admits he started to doubt whether or not he could bring ThunderCats to life on the big screen.

"I thought, am I crazy for obsessing over this, thinking it's something you can just do? 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," he said. "But flash forward, 20 years later and here we are. 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.

Finally, Wingard revealed he wants to do a ThunderCats film that takes fans back to its '80s roots without it being all live-action.

"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," he said. "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."

ThunderCats aired between 1985 and 1989 and focused on alien cat-like humanoids fleeing their dying world of Thundera and winding up on Third Earth, where they find themselves in battle with Mumm-Ra. The series has seen various reboots over the years; in particular, the 2011 series and the most recent ThunderCats Roar, both airing on Cartoon Network.

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