Ben 10 set for a cinematic transformation
|NEWS - MOVIE NEWS|
Cartoon Network's pride and joy is set for a cinematic adaptation...
One of the most interesting and entertaining animated shows for children in years, Cartoon Network’s Ben 10, is headed for a live-action theatrical release thanks to mega producer Joel Silver. For those who don’t have children – or just aren’t willing to admit that they still watch cartoons – Ben 10 follows the exploits of Ben Tennyson, who is on a summer-long vacation with his cousin Gwen and their grandfather Max, traveling cross country in Max’s RV, dubbed “The Rust Bucket”. However, everything is changed when Ben – while walking through the woods – sees what appears to be a meteorite hit the ground. Yet, upon further inspection, Ben soon realises that it’s actually a case carrying a strange looking wrist watch called an Omnitrix, an object which contains the DNA of ten different kinds of aliens (the 10 in Ben 10 – referring to the aliens and his last name of Tennyson). Before he can do anything, the Omnitrix affixes itself to Ben’s wrist, and he spends his summer transforming into various aliens and playing the role of a superhero.
Created by Man of Action (Joe Casey, Joe Kelly, Duncan Rouleau, Steve Seagle), the original series ran for four seasons. It spawned a direct-to-DVD animated movie, Secrets of the Omnitrix, which pits Ben against his greatest foe, Vilgax, who wants the Omnitrix for himself. Ben also meets Azmuth, the creator of the Omnitrix, who created it so varying species could learn how to walk in another’s shoes, but he sent it into space because there were those who would use it as a weapon. Then came a live-action TV movie, Race Against Time, directed by Alex Winter (AKA Bill S. Preston, Esq.). Two other series – Ben 10: Alien Force and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien – were released, both of which take place when Ben and Gwen are teenagers. The pair is joined by an old adversary, Kevin Levin, who has reformed, as they search for their missing grandfather and deal with teen issues and a whole new set of aliens. There has also been one other live-action TV movie, Alien Swarm, which dealt with a swarm of nanomites who were out to take over humanity (also directed by Winter).
Silver, whose producing credits include Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Predator and The Matrix, is no slouch. According to an official announcement from Stuart Snyder, president and COO of Turner Broadcasting System Inc.'s Animation, Young Adults and Kids Media division, he has signed a deal with Cartoon Network allowing his Silver Pictures exclusive rights to the property. Following the release of this news, Silver said: “We really see this as a large, big-budgeted tentpole movie.” Of course, this isn’t the first time Silver’s tried to bring a popular cartoon to the big screen though, as was witnessed with 2008’s Speed Racer. Of that, Silver comments: “I tried to do (something similar) with Speed Racer and failed miserably. You always learn more from the ones that don’t work than the ones that do work.” It’s always nice when someone in Hollywood can admit when they made a mistake.
Ben 10 is one of the best franchises out there, and is entertaining whether you’re a kid or an adult. It’s a multi-million dollar phenomenon that has branched out into toys (most of which my son owns), DVDs, video games (two of which I’ve played with my son), clothing and many other items. The story is solid, and there’s also a moral message behind it, as Ben struggles to control the powers he has gained and use them selflessly. Simply put, it’s comic book fun in 30-minute episodes, and with Joel Silver behind this, I think this could be one hell of a movie event. Nothing else has been planned as of yet, outside of the plan to basically re-boot the character for new audiences, but such is Silver's respect and understanding for the series, you can be sure that he will keep the magic of what made the original series so great intact.
IF YOU ENJOYED THIS ARTICLE, PLEASE HELP SUPPORT OUR SITE, AT NO COST WITH ONE CLICK ON THE FACEBOOK 'LIKE' BUTTON BELOW:
If you're interested in writing for Shadowlocked (disc and screening reviews, etc, or just getting some extra coverage for your extraordinary writing talent, get in touch with us.