A Live Action 'Captain Planet' Film Might Actually Happen. Maybe.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011 09:26 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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A Live Action 'Captain Planet' Film Might Actually Happen.  Maybe.

Last year, Avatar demonstrated that American audiences can handle the contradiction of watching a none-too-subtle environmental allegory from the comforts of an air-conditioned movie theater, and the cinematic mining of superhero properties over the last decade has proven that no costumed hero, no matter how ridiculous, can't have his or her own big screen adventures.  You know where this is going: Don Murphy, a producer on Real Steel, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and the Transformers franchise, is teaming up with Cartoon Network and Angry Filmworks to create a live-action Captain Planet feature film.

The early nineties animated series Captain Planet and the Planeteers and The New Adventures of Captain Planet saw a Whoopi Goldberg-voiced Gaia giving five power rings to a plucky, appropriately diverse group of teens from all over the globe.  When their powers were insufficient to combat environmental destruction, they would summon the Captain, an elemental superhero allergic to smog, nuclear radiation, and the like.

Here's the press release on a live-action Captain Planet:

Cartoon Network has signed a development agreement with action-adventure producer Don Murphy and partner Susan Montford and their company Angry Filmworks to develop a live-action motion picture based on the groundbreaking, environment-saving animated hero, Captain Planet and the Planeteers, it was announced today by Stuart Snyder, president and COO of Turner Broadcasting System Inc.’s Animation, Young Adults and Kids Media division (AYAKM). The agreement gives Murphy and his company the exclusive rights to develop and package the property and advance it towards production.

Murphy and Angry Filmworks are most notably credited for the highly successful action-adventure franchise, Transformers (2007), Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) and Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011). Murphy and Montford together produced the upcoming Hugh Jackman blockbuster Real Steel with Executive Producer Steven Spielberg. The company also is responsible for such action-oriented films as Shoot ‘Em Up (2007), The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003), Apt Pupil (1998) and Natural Born Killers (1994). Angry Filmworks formed in 1998.

“The messages of Captain Planet are even more relevant today,” said Snyder. “We feel this team can bring the world’s first eco-hero to life in a powerful motion picture that is not only pertinent but entertaining.”

“We are extremely excited about bringing the good Captain back to life,” said Murphy. “His adventures are known worldwide and he is recognized across generations. We expect to make a spectacular series of films with the amazing team at Cartoon Network.”

“With the earthquakes, tornadoes, melting icebergs and all the other problems threatening the world right now, Earth really needs her greatest defender,” said Montford.

In an effort to inform younger viewers about serious environmental issues, legendary cable entrepreneur Ted Turner partnered with DIC Enterprises in 1990 to create the world’s first animated environmental series, Captain Planet and the Planeteers. The series was about a group of young people who combine their special powers (The Planeteers) to summon Captain Planet, an environmental superhero, to battle the world’s worst eco-villains.

Captain Planet and the Planeteers premiered in fall 1990, airing domestically and internationally in syndication and on cable networks TBS and TNT. Six full seasons of the series were produced in the original run of the series, featuring the voice talents of multiple guest celebrities, including Whoopi Goldberg (Gaia), Meg Ryan (Dr. Blight), Martin Sheen (Sly Sludge), Edward Asner (Hoggish Greedly), James Coburn (Looten Plunder), Dean Stockwell (Duke Nukem) and Sting (Zarm). Winning multiple Environmental Media Awards across its production, Captain Planet and the Planeteers also scored several Daytime Emmy nominations.

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