Last year word came down that ThunderCats was coming to the big screen. This, on the face of it, seemed like good news. But there was a catch (there's always a catch). The bad news was that they decided to go the TMNT route of CGI instead of the live action route (like the new G.I. Joe). I won't mince words. That's terrible. Simply terrible.
It's not too late though, is it? The strike has brought the project to a screeching halt so we've still got time to fix this mess. We've got one shot to get this right people. The groundswell starts here! It's live action or bust.
Note: I went for some lesser known actors for a few of the roles because I think you want to be immersed in the ThunderCat world, not saying "hey, that's Tom Hanks!". Okay, okay, I did cast Colin Farrell in one of the parts - but he's looking very furry right now! It was like he was begging for the part. Cut me some slack. What I'm saying here is this it just my attempt, if you've got better ideas I'm willing to listen. I welcome your thoughts via email or the on comments below. I think the main thing is to convince Warner Bros. that we want live action.
It starts with the casting, and it starts with Lion-O.
Lion-O is the emotional core of the team and a key casting decision. I'm going with the wildly underrated Ryan Reynolds. He's gone action star a few times (Smokin' Aces, Blade Trinity) and he's also damn funny. You'd have to play the modern day ThunderCats a few degrees off from the original in my opinion. Transformers went wrong by having too many humans, ThunderCats will go wrong if they take it too seriously. We've all grown up since the original, we'll need a little more depth to the story these days.
Cheetara is crucial to the story as the female lead. That's right, I'm refusing to cast anyone except the original ThunderCats because I'm a traditionalist. Anyhow, Cheetara has to provide oodles in the way of sass, and Kristen Stewart seems pretty attitudinal to me. Plus she looks speedy. I will say that Cheetara looks like she smiles a lot more than I've seen out of Stewart, but I'm sure $5 million bucks or so will brighten her mood.
Another criminally underrated actor, Ejiofor has shown range in everything from Serenity, to Love Actually. Heck, even Kinky Boots. He's got the needed grit that the chief engineer would bring to the table. The mental image of Panthro fixing up the ThunderTank - it brings a tear of joy to my eyes.
Tygra is the second in command of the ThunderCat team and in many ways he's "Lion-O light." This would seem to put someone like Farrell on the outs as he's failed in at least one ensemble piece (Miami Vice) but I still hold out hope. Farrell needs a project he can gnaw on - I'm convinced that if he signed on to ThunderCats he'd get ripped on HGH and he'd go through the five hours of makeup a day without complaint.
Mumm-Ra is one scary dude. He calls himself the "ever-living source of evil" which is no joke. They don't make 'em like this guy anymore. So we need someone truly creepy. Who else but Cillian Murphy? Look at the eyes. Doesn't it look a little bit like Murphy would eat your soul? Don't lie, you know it does.
"Snarf, Snarf, Snarf" says Mr. Snarf. Snarf is the comedic thrust of the T-Cats, so let's call in an expert. I imagine this working a bit like Andy Serkis and Gollum. I would accept some CGI love here to make Snarf come true due to the clear size difference between the two. Plus, this is Rogen's chance to do some hard core method acting (which, in an odd coincidence, is the name of my rock band).
For a new generation of ThunderCats we need a new generation of Fanning. She has the exact same jaw as Wiley Kit, doesn't she? Wiley Kit and Kat were always getting into trouble during the show, with Kit leading the way as a precocious kid. Fanning is adorable but with a hint of mischief.
Wiley Kat was the more cautious of the two - August Rush proved that Highmore could play it quiet (even though the source material was awful). I've got to figure both of these kids will look solid on a hoverboard though.
Whew. I'm spent. However, because I care, I will say...