Casting the Reboot: The Thundercats

by Jannika Coons @JerkasaurusRex on January 25, 2014

in Movies, The 80s

Here we go, here we go, here we go, 

again guys what’s America’s weakness? (CATS!)

Ok then!

Deep within the ashes of Warner Brother’s mercifully defunct CG ThunderCats footage, a tiny ember fizzles, fanned by the flapping gums of the blogosphere rumor mill and the lukewarm commercial success of Cartoon Network’s anime-ted reboot, for a feature film incarnation of this much loved feline franchise. That’s right! From the internet’s lips to Jaga’s ears, Thunderians unite!

art by Granamir30

“How can she possibly know this?” you might ask. Well, buckle in, my little kits. We’re going deep into the Cats’ Lair with this one. Your Honor, if it pleases the Court, I would like to submit into evidence my shoddy, biased, Google detective work.

Exhibit A: IMDB shows that there is a project and that it is “in development” for 2015.

Exhibit B: Halloween costumes. A lot can be learned from observing product licensing. The fact that children and adult’s costumes were licensed and released for both new and old ThunderCats properties for the 2011-2012 holiday season says that there was enough consumer interest to outweigh the risks of producing.

Exhibit C: Will “Scientology Xenu” Smith expressed unsubstantiated interest in producing and starring in a live action ThunderCats movie, thus reclaiming his title as the freshest prince in all the land. Of all the lies the internet has told me, I hope this one is actually true. Will is currently working with Jay-Z to create a hip-hop update to the Annie musical, and if he gets his hands on Third Earth, we might be rewarded with a Cats and The Wiz mash-up.

Before we get too excited, let’s take a moment and process that all of this is pure fever dream conjecture. The closest ThunderCats will probably ever get to becoming a feature length film is Mad TV’s ThunderLOLCats. But supposing my Jessica Fletcher-style investigation skills are not whack as hell and that this project is actually a go, a couple of very important questions bubble to the surface. One, CGI or live action? Two, who’s who?

After mistaking the test CGI footage from the first movie for an episode of Xavior: Renegade Angel, I believe that the budget for this movie would be best spent on lush, beautiful costumes, make-up, and sets rather than big graphics. I think we can all agree that if done correctly, ThunderCats could be the next Avengers, and if it’s done incorrectly, it will become The Last Airbender.

Now, on to the ThunderCatsting. For the purpose of this exercise, we will assume that the character design will be based on the 2011 reboot.


Bradley Cooper as Lion-O


Eric Dane as Tygra


Rebecca Romijn as Cheetara


Jaden and Willow Smith as WilyKit and WilyKat

Ron Perlman or Laurence Fishburne as Panthro

Sir Ian McKellen as Jaga

Tim Curry as Mumm-ra


READ ALSO: Casting the Reboot: The Silverhawks

Jannika Coons (@JerkasaurusRex) is a pop culture enthusiast, amateur historian, and a self-confessed geek. She loves puns, b-movies, and Byzantine history. IRL, when she’s not writing, she dabbles in freelance graphic design and marketing. Jannika is also one third of the creative talent behind Cullen the Kettle Black, a Twilight parody web comic.

Top image by SaviorsSon

Classick Material February 12, 2013 at 10:31 am

These casting choices are spot-on! Bravo!!

Jason "SockofFleagulls" Gross February 12, 2013 at 11:20 am

Great post and great cast! As much as I’d like to see a live-action movie, I have serious doubts it could work. Need an unbelievably great script and like you said, alot of money spent on costumes and make-up. I think the 3-D animation like used in Polar Express or Tin Tin might be a more likely scenario.

Lamar the Revenger February 12, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Sadly I can see the Smith Kids as Kit & Kat. BUT Curry as Mumm-ra MUST be seen!!

Bj Lewis February 12, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Rebecca Romijn…nah…the rest of them good suggestions.

handsybroad February 12, 2013 at 9:56 pm

I like these picks, but I feel like a studio would want to skew younger. The Smiths yes, Romijn and Curry no. McKellan YES!

Bill Paxton Cameo May 8, 2013 at 7:26 am

How can they make a reboot of the Thundercats Movie? When they they make the first one?

Howard Decker May 8, 2013 at 9:25 am

I think the writer means the Thundercats franchise would be rebooted, a movie being the result.

Bill Paxton Cameo May 8, 2013 at 7:27 am


Jeffy June 17, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Vin Diesel would be a much much Panthro

Joe_HTH August 14, 2014 at 11:41 pm

Good God that’s some horrible casting? Bradley Cooper would make a shit Lion-O. Jackman would be far better. McKellen is a nice choice, but Eric Dane? Nobody gives a squat about him. Then you had to go and shit it up 10 times worse by suggesting Will Smith’s kids, both awful. Perlman wouldn’t be bad.

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