If you grew up in the 1980s, you certainly remember Lion-O, Cheetara, Jaga, and the rest of the ThunderCats. Following the lead of fellow animated series The Transformers, the ThunderCats are heading for the big-screen as well.
ThunderCats was a popular animated series that began in 1985 and was produced by Rankin/Bass Productions (the same folks who made the popular stop-motion holiday specials). The series followed a group of humanoid cats who find themselves homeless after their homeworld Thundra is destroyed. They travel to a planet known as Third Earth and battle against the evil Mumm-Ra and his minions. Though the series finished in 1990, the characters have continued in comic book form. Lion-O and Cheetara (voiced by Larry Kenney and Lynne Lipton) had brief cameos in the 2006 Family Guy movie Stewie Griffin – The Untold Story.
It’s now been announced that Warner Bros. is producing a ThunderCats feature film based on the original animated series. The script by new scribe Paul Sopocy is said to focus on the group’s origin, the coming of age of Lion-O as a leader, and will expand on the existing heroes and villains from the series.
Despite rumors to the contrary, it’s been confirmed that the film will be a CGI-Animation project, keeping closer to its original animated roots than Transformers. The film will be produced by Paula Weinstein through her company, Spring Creek Productions.
There’s no word on whether Kenney, Lipton, Peter Newton (Tygra, WilyKat), or Earle Hyman (Panthro) will be asked to reprise their cult-favorite roles. (Earl Hammond, who played Mumm-Ra, Jaga and others, passed away in 2002.)
If asked, the former castmates are ready. Kenney recently told us, “As you might imagine, all of us who were involved in the making of ThunderCats are very excited about the upcoming movie. Naturally, I’d love provide the voices of Lion-O, Jackalman, Rattaro, and others for the film, if asked. So far, I’ve not been contacted, but my agent is in contact with Warner Bros. and I’m keeping my fingers crossed!”