Adam Wingard‘s monster mash-up Godzilla vs. Kong arrives this week, but he’s already signed on for his next project. Wingard will once again work with Warner Bros., and will direct ThunderCats, a feature based on the animated TV series that ran from 1985-89 and also had several other incarnations as comic books and various merchandise.
There is reportedly an early script by David Coggeshall that will be rejigged by Wingard and Simon Barrett. The film will also reportedly be a hybrid of CGI and animation.
The ThunderCats series focused on a group of cat-like humanoid aliens who live on the dying planet Thundera. They’re forced to flee their homeland, but are attacked by their enemies, the Mutants of Plun-Darr, who seek to capture the mystic Sword of Omens they believe is on board. The sword holds the Eye of Thundera, the source of the ThunderCats’ power.
The film will use the animated series as a jumping-off point, but Wingard will then take it in a direction he has been thinking about for many years.
In an interview with Deadline, he explained that he’s been writing his ThunderCats screenplay since the 10th grade, and this is his “dream project”.
He went on to add, “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”.
While ThunderCats may not yet be a household name, Wingard’s palpable enthusiasm might help get it halfway there. But the source material also has the kind of mythology that has found success in superhero franchises over the last decade, so it’s easy to see why Warner Bros. see potential in this project.
While it obviously feels like Wingard’s main attention is going to be on ThunderCats, he’s actually already involved in the in-development Face/Off sequel. In that interview, he added “I’m going to do the next available thing, quickly. Maybe that’s Face/Off 2“.
If so, he will presumably work on that film while ThunderCats is coming together. It wouldn’t hurt if Face/Off 2 performs well at the box office either, potentially allowing for a bigger ThunderCats budget.
Godzilla vs. Kong arrives in U.S. cinemas – and on HBO Max – this week, after the film opened to over $123 million overseas, a record start for Hollywood during the pandemic.