Thundercats to the CGI Screen

Published 7 years ago by , Updated March 9th, 2013 at 1:38 pm,
thundercats logo Thundercats to the CGI Screen

Thundercats Ho! Do you remember Thundercats from the 80′s? I do. I thought Lion-O’s sword, The Sword of Omens, which he used to summon the team and do battle with Mumm-Ra and his minions was totally cool. I also liked Panthro’s cool toys and Cheetara’s speed.

In case you don’t know who / what the Thundercats are, they are a group of cats in humanoid shape that fled their home planet of Thundera after it was destroyed. After escaping that catastrophe, they rename the planet on which they landed ‘Third Earth.’ They must also constantly defend themselves from the evil sorcerer Mumm-Ra who is hell bent on destroying them.

In June of 2007, it was reported that Warner Bros. optioned a script by Paul Sopocy with the intent of making it into a movie. Paula Weinstein was lined up to produce the film via her Spring Creek Productions logo with Jerry O’Flaherty to direct, in hopes of taking advantage of his time in video game art direction for games like Gears of War as an edge in directing this CGI based film.

Yep – you read right. They’ve chosen to go with the idea of animation for the new film that is starting to build momentum towards it’s rumored release date of 2010.

The latest news about the project is being reported over on They say the concept artist being hired for Thundercats is Charlie Wen, who has previous visual work as the Visual Development Director for the critically-acclaimed video game God of War II.

Wen confirms this with an entry on his own blog: “took an Art Directing/Character Designing gig on Thundercats.”

The script was written as an origins story line centered around Lion-O coming of age and is Sopocy’s first studio script sale as a screenwriter. His “day job” is senior writer, print advertising, at Fox Broadcasting Co., and he has some previous short film stories under his belt, including Staring at the Sun which screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005.

The Thundercats franchise has spurred a number of animated series, toy lines and comic books. Warner Bros. has owned the rights to the animated series since acquiring Telepictures Corp. in 1989.

If you know you’ve watched Thundercats in your younger days, but can’t quite remember it, or you’d just like to see the opening sequence just one more time for old time’s sake, here you go:

Other Sources: Variety
Thanks to Mark Sheard of ThunderCatsLair for the pointer and Ricardo Chahad for the image.

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  1. I’ve been trying to follow this project as best I can to get a feel for what it will be like. I like the idea of them going with CGI as I believe it will be easier to manage some of the characters that way, though, just out of curiosity, I still have to wonder how they’d manage a live action look.

    My biggest concern is how much of a change has been made to the back story and the characters, and just how faithful they’ll remain to the source material. Will they follow the route that the GI Joe movie seems to be taking, creating a new and updated take on the characters while remaining true to the original source, or will they take the route of Transformers, ignoring virtually everything about the franchise except the blatantly obvious and not even trying to maintain any of the original’s spirit.

    Hopefully it will be closer to the former. Until I can find out, though, I’ll return to watching my DVDs of the original series.

  2. As if I need to click for a reminder of the show! Once you’ve seen Thundercats start, you never forget that music. :D
    Well, maybe just the one play. ;)

    As for the film, a live version would be interesting, but not sure if an animated version holds the same appeal. Agree with Flamestrike really, depends on how they do it.

  3. I just hope that they get rid of Snarf. That thing was more annoying than Scrappy Doo…..

  4. Snarf reminds me of Ja-Ja Binks.. no sidekick deserves to be blown up more.. (snarf!)

    I have the feeling that it will of course be modernized and given some sort of different twist.. if they don’t it’s just a repeat in the era of remakes.

    You know you have to click on the replay.. still cool after all these years!!!!

  5. Nice, loved the Thundercats. *Remembers Robot Chicken episode with Lion-O* “I better get some freakin Tuna*

  6. Bruce, you are soo right…I just had to click on the video to hear it once again. When I first heard they were trying for a live-action Thundercats, my mouth nearly hit the floor. Though an animated movie is less appealing, I’m still interested in seeing it, even if it goes straight to DVD.

    BTW, my favorite episode is when Lion-O had to fight all the Thundercats to prove his worth, and then fight Mum-Ra without his sword or shield.

  7. I remember watching this show all the time.

    I can’t for the life of me remember, though, why Mum-Ra wanted to destroy the Thundercats. I guess there’s was just nothing else to do?

  8. Guess he wasn’t a cat person ;)

    Think he just disliked them for turning up on his planet. He was like the typical mean old man living alone, just wanting peace and quiet.

    The intro is still really cool, although have to admit, I’d forgotten all about the two kiddies. But the Thunder Tank is as cool as ever!

  9. Mumm-Ra is probably not a cat person (good one steven) and he’s probably got deep rooted emotional issues going back to when he hated his parents, if he had any, and takes it out on the cats Thomas. Then again, boredom does make folk come up with interesting ideas!

  10. I remember this cartoon, but didn’t realize it was popular enough to warrent a movie 20 years later. How many Thudercat purists are there?

    I say just write a good script based on the basic concept and who cares about the tiny details. I think we can allow them some creative license with this franchise.

    Didn’t Lion-O’s sword grow a few inches when he “came of age”? And why does his name sound like a kid’s cereal.

  11. Hey Panda.. his sword grew into a full length battle sword when battle was about to begin and when he summoned the Thundercats to his side for battle…

    Other things probably happened when he came of age, but we don’t go there, here on this site.

  12. Yes, that was a handy weapon, compact and easy to put away in your lion’s glove, and full length when need be.
    Weird how all this comes back!

    Yes, boredom. Poor Mum-Ra, lying in his crypt, nothing to do so he goes and pesters the neighbours. A restraining order waiting to happen.

  13. “Kick the Can”. I distinctly remember that episode. Snarf was useful. Still annoying, but useful.

  14. There was another episode where Mum-Ra had morphed into the guise of King Arthur. He stood at the bank of the river where Excalibur had been given back to the Lady of the Lake and received the sword. Lion-O had to confront Mum-Ra but the swords just started fighting by themselves. In the end, Excalibur won, disabling all the Thundercats. Unfortunately for Mum-Ra, Merlin was still a very powerful wizard and he restored the Thundercats and the Sword of Omens, and then sent Excalibur back to the Lady.

    I can’t wait to see this movie.

  15. I see you changed the picture from 3 of the characters to the Thundercat logo.

  16. John, I changed the image for technical reasons. I’ve added this post to the featured story rotation on the home page and the small image that was above would have looked horrible blown up.


  17. “I say just write a good script based on the basic concept and who cares about the tiny details. I think we can allow them some creative license with this franchise.”

    I agree, we can allow them some. Still, I’d very much like to see them remain respectful of the franchise. I can site many 80′s cartoons that have been updated and yet respected the original material. However, if they go too basic with the concept, they run the risk of angering and alienating the fans and appearing to be disrespectful of the property they’re working on.

    “I can’t for the life of me remember, though, why Mum-Ra wanted to destroy the Thundercats. I guess there’s was just nothing else to do?”

    Well, besides being, in his own words, “The ever-living source of evil,” he wanted the power of the Eye of Thundera for himself, and, when he discovered that wasn’t really possible, he decided he simply didn’t want anyone else to have it either because it, and consequently the Thundercats themselves, was a threat to his power.

  18. “run the risk of angering and alienating”

    yup, they should change the battlecry “Thudercats HO!” or they might anger streetwalkers everywhere

    Was this franchise really that popular? Maybe, I think I have seen t-shirts with the logo in Hot Topic

  19. “Was this franchise really that popular?”

    Well, I can’t be sure until I see the dates on the closing credits of the final episode, but some Thundercats fan sites indicate the show ran for four seasons.

    Now, it may not have been as resilient as Transformers or GI Joe have been, but it’s got a pretty solid fan base.

  20. I can’t belive this !!!

    They are planning a remake of one of the very best cartoon of my childhood.
    As some of you I would prefer a film than a CGI animation but anyway it’s going to be hard work to get anywhere near the original.

    The 2000′s are the new 80′s!
    I have fond memories of the cartoon as a kid… They should just make rated R versions of all the old 80′s T.V. shows since the only people who care are 30 something males!
    (a powerful and kick-ass group)

  22. I remember the Thundercats!!! This is yet another great idea that comes from a cartoon that I grew up watching. I am very excited about all of these up and coming movies. It is about time, I say, with all of this utter crap they have put out lately. :P