Move over Justice League and peace out Avengers, the real supergroup is back. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Entertainment is teaming up with Paramount Pictures to bring Captain Planet and the Planeteers to the big screen. Glen Powell and Jono Matt are sharing screenwriting duties for the project.
While the deal isn’t final, early reports cite a unique take on the material. The film is set to take place years after the original series. Captain Planet would be portrayed as “a washed-up has-been who needs the kids more than they need him.”
But is it a sequel, or a total reboot?
It could be fascinating to see the Planeteers as adults with careers and families. Perhaps saving the planet from environmental disaster just fell lower and lower on the to-do list as other responsibilities mounted. If it captures the right spirit of youthful fancy vs. the need to “adult,” the film has the potential to be a memorable family fantasy adventure in the same fashion as Hook.
Bad Guys Who Like to Loot and Plunder
What, also, does this new take mean for the show’s caricaturesque villains? It might be hard for modern audiences to take a guy named Looten Plunder or Hoggish Greedly seriously. Not to mention that scalawag, Verminous Skumm.
Still, the vices they represent, wealth at any cost and a total disregard for ecological consequences, remain relevant. With an appropriate satirical take, these familiar faces might work, especially if they’ve won their war for control of the planet’s resources. A younger generation of Planeteers helping the old-timers remember the stakes would be a fitting narrative for a 21st century Captain Planet.
The cast of the show is a stable of all-star voices, many of whom would be great as cameos in a live-action film. LeVar Burton, for example, could convincingly play an older Kwame. And just imagine Meg Ryan stepping in as a real-life Dr. Barbara Blight. I, for one, would love to see Whoopi Goldberg reprise her role as Gaia, the spirit of the Earth, for the big screen. Sometimes it takes a wise voice from our past to remind us that saving our planet is the thing to do.