Is the world ready for some live action Captain Planet movie?
Everyone remembers Captain Planet: a classic 90s cartoon about a blue guy who was the protector of the Earth. The show had an environmentalist message that resonated well with critics at the time, and it also managed to be enjoyable to younger audiences without sounding too judgmental.
As is the case with most classic animated franchises, rumors have been circulating for some time about a possible live-action remake of Captain Planet. Some big names have been linked to the project, but, so far, there has been no further news from the film.
Of course, the idea of turning an environmentalist cartoon into a live-action movie sounds very 2021, but we can’t help but wonder …
Can Captain Planet even work in a live action setting?
Leo and the Planets
Since 2016, it has been rumored that Leonardo DiCaprio and his production company, Appian Way Productions, were interested in bringing Captain Planet to the big screen. With Paramount, it seemed like a Captain Planet the live-action movie was almost inevitable – until it wasn’t.
No one knows exactly what happened with the project – it simply disappeared. However, this wasn’t the first time we’ve heard of a live-action Captain Planet movie: that honor goes to Sony, who tried to make a Planeteers and Their Blue Friend movie a few years before the arrival of Paramount and DiCaprio.
Even Captain Planet’s original voice actor David Coburn was set to star in DiCaprio’s film. Coburn replaced none other than Tom Cruise in the original cartoon, and having him on board for a new live-action adaptation would ensure that thousands of loyal fans would be more receptive to seeing new versions of their beloved characters.
Out of all the Hollywood actors / producers, none makes more sense to work on a Captain Planet movie that Leo DiCaprio. His work with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has shown real results in the field of environmentalism and conservationism, making a real difference in the world.
Considering DiCaprio confirmed he was working on a Captain Planet movie in 2016, that would mean he would be working right after his Oscar win for The ghost. DiCaprio was the perfect choice as a producer for this movie, and yet we still didn’t get the movie we were promised. And, oh boy, was that an interesting plot.
Making a live-action version of any cartoon comes with a unique set of challenges. If you make the movie look too much like the cartoon it’s based on, you run the risk of people calling it “cheesy” – but you stray too far from the source material and you’ll end up with a host of angry Keyboard Warriors.
Fortunately, the writers of the 2016 Captain Planet The live-action movie had the right idea and thought about making a story set a few years after the original show. One thing that screenwriters Jono Matt and Glen Powell have agreed on is that, given the Captain Planet source material, you just shouldn’t be trying to make a serious movie out of this.
Matt and Powell toyed with the idea of creating a live-action Captain Planet that would be more like Marvel’s Deadpool, in that the character would never take himself too seriously.
Perhaps this light-hearted shot wasn’t too suitable for the most senior officials, who perhaps would have preferred a Captain Planet movie to the DC one, with a dark and gloomy color scheme. Either way, a live-action Captain Planet, possibly directed by James Gunn or Edgar Wright, would absolutely work, especially in today’s renewed era of environmental consciousness.