Welcome, Poweteers, to a brand new original column where we explore the top (and bottom) 5 items we think are relevant to any of a variety of topics that span the imagination. Sit back, read, and respond!



Hollywood has a bad track record adapting cartoons. The Smurfs, Dragonball, The Last Airbender, Scooby Doo… even successful movies like Transformers end up getting panned by critics and alienating lots of fans.

I think there are some toons worth adapting. Either because they’d work just as well or work even better in live action. I’ll tell you why, and I’ll even try to tell you who should play them.

5: Cowboy Bebop
A show near and dear to my heart, and the first show I ever collected on DVD. Cowboy Bebop is the story of a group of bounty hunters on board a space ship picking up strays that the police haven’t caught yet. Its of course a future show with some Sci Fi elements, but the settings are incidental. Ganymede, Mars, and other planets might as well just be other countries or cities, since they’re populated with Humans from Earth that left the planet.

With SciFi so common in the summer movie season, and the popularity of good guys who are kind of bad, clinching the success of Bebop as movie wouldn’t be hard. I don’t think Casting would be hard either. You have a few very basic characters. An unknown as Ed androgynous child computer hacker, but then a young hot starlet like Emma Stone as the unfrozen girl from the 20th century Faye Valentine. Jet Black is a guy who has seen better days but you still don’t want to mess with and has Mickey Rourke written all over him. The lead, Spike Spiegel, who gave his life to get out of the mob only to resurface on the other side of the law? Ryan Gosling. A lot of you hate me now, but know in your heart that the guy from the Notebook would nail it.

I only list this as #5 because anyone who has seen Firefly knows that is the closest thing to Cowboy Bebop a live action show will ever get. It also strangely only last 13 hours plus a movie.

4. Thundercats
Thundercats might be a knock off of Masters Of The Universe, but that flick already got a shot. On top of that, the original series has not aged well, and the revamp produced for Cartoon Network shows how much potential the concept has.

A heroic tribe of humanoids seemingly evolved from cats. At their fingertips a blend of the mystic and technology mixing tanks and magic swords. They are by all indications the last survivors of their race, not knowing what they are searching for, but knowing it may bring peace to their world and end the threats of the Mutants. Behind the scenes, an ancient evil spirit that could conquer the known universe if he should possess the Thundercats power. This is somewhere between Lord of the Rings and 300.

I’ll admit that someone has already done most of the work for me. The proof of concept is there. Lion-O might not be a good fit for Brad Pitt since he’s just 2 years shy of 50 right now. But Joseph Gordon Levitt is still plenty young and proved himself in a fight during Inception. Let’s see Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique in X-Men First Class) as Cheetara. Idris Elba seems likely for Panthro, strong but calm. Tigra should seem like a more natural leader, even if he isn’t so I’ll take the new Captain Kirk, Chris Pine. Mumm-Ra would be relagated to voice and motion capture if you want to make him imposing, so why not Andy Serkis?

The amount of CG and makeup required for many of these actors would be dizzying, but like any high fantasy movie, it would be amazing if successful.

3. Gundam
I’ll be the first to admit to not being really familiar with Gundam. It’s popularity in Japan and the US for decades has made me wonder why it hasn’t been adapted into a huge movie series. There are hundreds of hours of Gundam to draw up, and multiple continuities in which to set a movie. The most likely is the original Gundam time line, Universal Century.

Gundam encompasses the story of humans leaving Earth and then those colonies breaking away from the homeworld to become independent. It is a story that parallels many in our history, but the backdrop of high technology and most notably the Gundam and Zaku mobile suits could make for incredible action. Transformers proved that movie audiences will come out just to see robots fight, and Gundam could go a step further by making those fights count toward a great story. Probably one of the most interesting things about this series is that we’ve seen good guys and bad guys on both sides of the war, so you could frame it from either side.

I won’t offer any casting advice since theres too many options to go for. Cast unknowns and put that budget into building real Gundams.

2. Daria
I’ve always been a big fan of Beavis and Butthead, and with some years of perspective and creator Mike Judge’s success beyond the series, it has become clear that show was not as dumb as its main characters.
Daria spun off without Judge, taken a few writing staff members from B&B and setting a completely different tone. Daria was a strong female character, as was her friend Jane. Their attitude could easily be written off as overly sarcastic and hipster crap in today’s society, but in the late 90s it was a breath of fresh air when ever show about a teen was overly positive and unrealistic (the sole exception being the aforementioned Beavis & Butthead).

Reset the characters in college and then entering the real world, and Daria can only be Aubrey Plaza. She’s practically doing the Daria delivery on Parks & Recreation ever week anyway, though considerably more abusive and hostile. I’ll take a cue from MTV’s own website and agree that Ellen Page could be Jane. She can’t be adorable forever. If you’re going to move them further in life, it would be best to recast other character types they’d combat in professional life. Or hell, have them rolling eyes at modern hipsters.

1. The Venture Bros
My most wanted since it is easily my favorite show produced in the last decade and any excuse to talk about it I’ll take. The Venture Bros are the adventurer sons of Dr Venture, he himself a former boy adventurer. The show is frequently not about them. There is a cast of hundreds of side characters and they all get explored at various points. The Venture family is threatened by various super villains, mainly arch nemesis The Monarch. The are protected by their body guard Brock Samson and the Necromancer Dr Orpheus who rents a room at the Venture compound.

Doc is played to perfection by James Urbaniak, who appeared in costume during a DVD special feature. While he would be ideal for reprising the role in live action, I’d be willing to let Jim Rash grow out his beard if Urbaniak doesn’t want to shave his head. Brock Samson need to be tough as balls, so I have to turn to the world of professional wrestling. Sid Vicious is a dead ringer for Samson. At 6’9” and over 300 pounds, he’d look intimidating towering over most villains as well as the Venture family. He’s a little older, but then Samson is supposed to be a grizzled agent by the time he takes over at the Venture compound anyway. Hank and Dean venture are impossible to cast without dipping into Nickelodeon/Disney channel casting. The beautiful Dr Girlfriend, the villainous sidekick to the The Monarch should be played in two roles. Anne Hathaway is who you see on screen, Harvey Fierstein is the voice you hear. Michael Fassbender becomes Phantom Limb. David Bowie plays himself. Seth Rogen and James Franco are henchmen 21 and 24. Johnny Depp as Col Hunter Gathers. Dr. Orpheous would be easily filled by Alfred Molina, who should chew the scenery at every opportunity.

The Monarch? Hate me again, I’m going with Ryan Gosling.