As long as Hollywood decides to try to continue to siphon from the nostalgia farm, there are numerous franchises yet to get the live-action film treatment. As studios can CGI backgrounds and characters, placing them in the real world isn’t as laborious compared to early blended live-action and animated media.
Here are five franchises that should be targeted for a live-action film adaptation.
She-Ra: The Princess of Power
There are two animated adaptations of She-Ra: The Princess of Power. The 1985 series was a spinoff from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and the 2018 Netflix version stands alone. He-Man already had a live-action adaptation starring Dolph Lundgren in Masters of the Universe (1987) for Cannon Films. Frank Langella played his arch-nemesis Skeletor.
Unfortunately, filming went over budget and the ending rushed to be shot out of director Gary Goddard’s own pocket. The film only made $17 million at the box office after a budget of $22 million becoming a bust. Warner Bros. took over the assets of Cannon following their bankruptcy. It probably also ruined any prospect of a She-Ra film at the time. Sony acquired the rights to produce a He-Man film in 2009.
With the renewed interest in Masters of the Universe and numerous creative changes, why hasn’t momentum picked up for She-Ra? Seems like if interest is there in remaking the live-action He-Man, his female counterpart has her own film as well.
It’s less excusable in 2019 especially with the success of the Netflix animated series. Sony shouldn’t waste this opportunity to create another female protagonist for the big screen. There’s a similar project underway in Red Sonja still in development. It would also be in Sony’s best interest considering all the world-building studios are making with their franchises.
The only things known about the Masters of the Universe remake is that it stars Noah Centineo as He-Man; Aaron and Adam Nee are directing; Matt Holloway and Art Marcum wrote the screenplay and the tentative release date is March 2021.
Give She-Ra a chance to shine.
The futuristic spinoff of The Flintstones hasn’t been given an opportunity at live-action. It’s a headscratcher considering The Flintstones had two live-action films. Both franchises have numerous animated films and crossovers. It’s strange considering you already have another futuristic sci-fi family in the form of the Robinsons in Lost in Space.
The 1962 Hanna Barbara cartoon was ahead of its time with how entrenched automation is in society. Someone who can fulfill the role of Cosmo S. Spacely would be J .K. Simmons. Simmons yelling at whoever ends up playing George would be comedy gold. The success of live-action Scooby Doo proved a family film can work with a talking CG dog. Creating a Jetsons live-action film would not only be entertaining, but it offers a prime opportunity for social commentary about humanity’s relationship with technology.
One thing that sets the animated series Archer on FX apart from other spy franchises is the scenarios its characters find themselves in. Whether if it’s internal bickering among the agency, going into semantics of what happens or should happen in spy franchises make it a perfect commentary on the genre. Archer would translate so well on the screen because there’s really nothing else like it.
Most spy spoofs are often low brow and overly reliant on slapstick. Films like Johnny English and Austin Powers haven’t set the bar like Archer with its content and the personalities have. The two-time Emmy Award-winning series is slated to go on its 11th season in 2020. Executive producer Matt Thompson told the Daily Beast in 2016 if the series would ever go live-action, Jon Hamm would fit the role. Rebel Wilson would make an ideal Pam. Helen Mirren is the only person who can match Jessica Walter’s sass as Malory.
Any Disney Afternoon Show – Duck Tales, Tailspin, Darkwing Duck, Bonkers, Goof Troop, Chip, and Dale’s Rescue Rangers, Adventures of the Gummi Bears, Gargoyles
With Disney’s live-action The Lion King, the attempt was successful creating near photo-realistic CG for the animals. They achieved near perfection immersing a new generation of fans. Similarly, the characters of the Hundred Acre Woods came to life blending in with the live-action background and humans to look as realistic as possible in Christopher Robin.
Naturally given the renewed interest in beloved animated shows that formed the Disney afternoon block, the company decided to revive Duck Tales with a new cast. The series also re-introduced Drake Mallard aka Darkwing Duck, Disney’s comedic Batman knockoff.
The original Duck Tales had their own animated feature, yet Disney’s decision to only make live-action adaptations of their films leaves a lot to the table. Whatever the case may be, it doesn’t hurt to try to do the same of their television shows.
Before Alita: Battle Angel, it was hard to imagine how Mega Man could work. The ways current CG technology rendered live faces to accentuate the actor’s features is nothing short of remarkable. Now a person with some exaggerated features can be more believable. There are two directors who likely can pull this off in Neill Blomkamp and James Cameron.
Blomkamp’s work on District 9 and Elysium more than qualifies him to create a future where humanity largely survives as cyborgs and working alongside robots. A disgruntled scientist can foreseeably want revenge on the company he/she used to work for by getting their creations to turn on them. The only thing standing in this scientist’s way is his dying teacher, who builds humanity’s last chance to restore peace.
Cameron’s ability to make fluidly integrate the CG with actor Rosa Salazaar into Alita makes it one of the strongest technical achievements and performances in filmmaking. One part Terminator, another part iRobot and you have the formula of a compelling live-action film.