The Matrix and Sherlock Holmes series producer Joel Silver has his eye on transforming Cartoon Network’s Ben 10 toon property into a big-budgeted, live-action blockbuster – partly, in the hopes that this venture proves more lucrative than the last colorful cartoon adaptation he backed (ie. the Wachowski’s Speed Racer movie).
Silver became involved with the Ben 10 project in Summer 2011, but has yet to officially secure a distributor for the project – though, Warner Bros. is a very likely candidate, given the studio’s history with the man behind (seemingly) every other action-heavy tentpole pic released over the past decade.
Variety has confirmed that Albert Torres will script the big screen live-action treatment of Ben 10, which is being produced by Silver, along with Steve Richards (Dungeons & Dragons, The Book of Eli) and Andrew Rona (Equilibrium, The Losers). Suffice it to say, that team boasts numerous noteworthy hits and misses, as far as their collective filmography goes.
Torres, by comparison, has only one official credit on his writing resume, in the form of the 2008 indie dramedy Henry Poole is Here. However, he’s also been responsible for doing a re-write on the controversial Akira live-action adaptation that is struggling to climb out of development limbo (at the time of writing this).
In other words, Torres does have writing experience in the sci-fi/action genre, but there’s little more to be said about his “qualifications” for handling this sort of property (for now).
Ben 10 is a series created by the “Man of Action” group (ie. Joe Casey, Joe Kelly, Duncan Rouleau, and Steven T. Seagle) that revolves around a cocky and immature 10-year-old boy named Ben Tennyson, who battles a variety of extraterrestrial baddies with the help of the Omnitrix/Ultimatrix – a watch-like wrist attachment which allows young Ben to transform into different super-powered aliens.
The original Ben 10 animated series premiered in late 2005 and aired on through to Spring 2008. It eventually inspired two TV show spinoffs (subtitled Alien Force and Ultimate Alien) as well as a fourth (Omniverse) due to hit the small screen by late 2012. Ben 10 has also been adapted into multiple TV movies, including two live-action features (Race Against Time and Alien Swarm).
That’s all to say: Ben 10 is a pretty popular, kid-friendly sci-fi franchise title that seems to lend itself to an effect-driven Hollywood adaptation. Whether or not the folks in Tinseltown will do justice by the original show, of course, is another matter…
We will keep you updated on the status of Ben 10 as more information is released.