Thundercats are coming to the big screen. A feature film adaptation of the beloved animated series is officially in the works from Godzilla vs. Kong director Adam Wingard, who happens to be a lifelong Thundercats superfan.
As Deadline reports, the Warner Bros. production will be a combination of CGI and animation. Wingard is currently writing the script with his frequent collaborator Simon Barrett, who previously teamed up for the horror flicks You’re Next (2011) and The Guest (2014). Wingard will also be working with producers Roy Lee and Dan Lin, thus recreating the trio that brought us that Death Note movie in 2017.
Wingard’s films haven’t always been well-received by critics, but it seems like a Thundercats movie is the project he was born to create. In a wide-ranging interview with Deadline, the 38-year-old director revealed that he hand-wrote a 272-page Thundercats screenplay in 10th grade, and that he considers this “a dream project”.
“When I was in high school, I was obsessed with it,” he told Deadline. “You’d think at that point, I was a little too old, that my years of obsession with Thundercats would be when I was six 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.”
He admitted that his grades got placed on the backburner while he voraciously worked on the script, and that he was even picked on by his classmates for being so obsessed with Thundercats. Now, all of those hours paid off.
“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. But flash forward, 20 years later and here we are.”
Wingard said that as Godzilla vs. Kong was being completed, he heard wind of a Thundercats script written by David Coggeshall that his Death Note producers had set up. He ended up convincing Lin and Lee to let him and Barrett re-write it, and they ultimately gave in to his lifelong passion project.
“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. The colors.”
He continued, “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,” he added. “A hybrid CGI film that has a hyperreal 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’s still no details on who will star in the feature or when it will arrive, but it seems like every aspect of the process will be meticulously considered. The original Thundercats TV show that ran from 1985-1989 was about a clan of part-cat-part-human aliens who are tasked with saving the dying planet Dundera. It’s since been revived as a comic series and has spawned two TV reboots, most recently in 2020.