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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

dream cast: hypothetical live-action ‘ThunderCats’ movie

It’s Thursday, so it’s time to remake an 80s classic TV show or movie with an all-new cast. This week: ThunderCats, the Rankin/Bass animated series that debuted in 1985. There is a CGI-animated flick coming in 2010, but let’s think live-action update. That’s much more fun.

(This one was suggested by reader Bill. If you have a suggestion for an 80s TV show or movie we should play with, feel free to email me.)
The original cast of characters included:

Lion-O: leader of the ThunderCats
Jaga: aka Jaga the Wise
Tygra: the scientist
Panthro: mechanic and pilot
Cheetara: the girl (*sigh*)
Mumm-Ra: the villain

You guys are on your own with this one. I don’t know enough about ThunderCats to fill a litter box: I was already beyond the demo for this one in 1985 — this is Nintendo-wave Xer stuff, not Atari-wave. Have fun with your dream cast!

ThunderCats! Are! Go! (That’s right, isn’t it?)



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  • No, it’s:

    Thundercats, HO!!!!!!

    I was gonna take a stab at casting, but I’ve got a thing against turning Cartoons into Live-Action. Comics, sure. Videogames, why not? Saturday Morning Cartoons… travesty! The very concept turns my stomach. I’m not even sure I could tell you why.

  • Hdj

    Lion-O: Tom Jane
    Jaga: Nick Nolte
    Tygra: James Franco
    Panthro: Vin Diesel
    Cheetara: Jovovich
    Mumm-Ra: Hugo Weaving
    Snarf: voice Mark Hamill
    plus the Theme done by Metallica

  • Ken

    I was gonna take a stab at casting, but I’ve got a thing against turning Cartoons into Live-Action. Comics, sure. Videogames, why not? Saturday Morning Cartoons… travesty! The very concept turns my stomach. I’m not even sure I could tell you why.

    Not looking forward to the G.I. Jow movie then?

  • PaulW

    Try Thundercats Meets Goodfellas.

    ;)

    As for casting, a live-action version? It’ll look a little too… “Cats” for my tastes. Still and all…

    Lion-O: Tom Felton (needs to play hero characters once the Harry Potter gig dries up)
    Jaga: Alec Guiness. What you mean, he’s dead?
    Tygra: Josh Duhamel
    Panthro: Ving Rhames
    Cheetara: Liu Yifei
    Mumm-Ra: Hugo Weaving (I concur with the earlier selection)
    The mutant villains: muppets. Just like in Dark Crystal
    Snarf: my cat

  • Not looking forward to the G.I. Jow movie then?

    God, no. No no no. Noooo.

    About five years ago I saw an April Fools day poster for a live action GI Joe movie, featuring Viggo Mortensen as Duke. That would’ve been awesome. I could get behind that. I’m almost certain the poster was illustrated by the guy who does those Star Wars ones. It was pretty sweet. I had it on the wall for a year or so.

    The GI Joe we’re actually gonna get? Jesus. Christ.

    I saw Viggo the other day, by the way, at the TIFF screening of “Good” — he was hella sexy; jumped the crowd barrier, in the rain, to sign autographs for all the crazy bitches who didn’t have a ticket.

    But yeah, no. GI Joe is going to suck, and you should not pretend otherwise! :)

  • gengenger

    I’m no good at this… but James McAvoy told Arena Magazine how he’d cast it:

    “I’d play Snarf, I’d give him inner demons. Dakota Fanning and Haley Joel Osment would be WileyKit and WileyKat. In fact I should f***ing direct it, I’d make it a work of art.”

    Snarf with inner demons – I’d go for it.

  • Bill

    Lion-O: Marky Mark
    Jaga: Terrence Stamp
    Tygra: Adrien Brody
    Panthro: Ving Rhames
    Cheetara: Keira Knightley
    Mumm-Ra: Alan Rickman
    Snarf: Philip Seymour Hoffman. He’ll make it work.

    Newbs – I gotta pretend GI Joe won’t suck or I’ll die a little inside.

  • Hdj

    I’m not really feeling G.I Joe ether looks like its going to rank up with Street Fighter.

    Bill- lol I could see award winner Philip Seymour Hoffman as a life sized Snarf, I can see him getting in the role ” I had to understand what it was to be a cat, I wanted to understand the relationship between Snarf and Lion-o”. Of course a role like this would set him back to when he played the dumb guy from boogie nights.

  • Jovovich and Knightley do not have the… enhancements … to carry a Cheetara role.

    Here’s a Jessica Simpson suggestion:
    http://www.hollywoodzap.com/images/2007/07/jessica_simpson_cheetara.jpg

    I wouldn’t know who to suggest, so I guess I’d fall back on the old Angelina Jolie safety net; she can probably rustle up that appropo “I’m old and raspy” voice Cheetara had.

  • amanohyo

    Obviously, it’s been a while snce I’ve seen Thundercats, but going by the intro movie, Cheetara’s breasts look perfectly normal-sized, which is actually a good thing comfort-wise considering the whole superhuman speed thing. Even if they were huge in the cartoon, I don’t remember their magnitude being particularly essential to her character or the plot of any episode… at all, in any way whatsoever.

    I’m sure lots of guys (and Hollywood producers) would disagree with me in JoshDM’s favor, but it seems to me that the thing that’s needed to “carry” a Cheetara role is a reasonable amount of strength and physical grace. Jovovitch sort of fits the bill, Knightly, Liu, and Jolie not so much, but Simpson would be only be appropriate if they were going for cheesecakey camp. Cheetara isn’t (or shouldn’t be turned into) some babbling pinup; she has to actually fight from time to time.

    Phillip Seymour Hoffman is perfect though. Voice, face, build, everything fits. Just thinking about the continued pillaging of so many childhood memories is depressing though. Damn you nostaliga! Why must you be such an easy path to box office success!

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