'80s animated series heading to bigscreen

It’s Thundercats, ho! at Warner Bros.

Studio has optioned a script by tyro scribe Paul Sopocy to turn the popular 1980s animated series and toy line into a CGI-animated feature.

Warner-based Paula Weinstein will produce through her Spring Creek Prods. banner, along with Dick Robertson and Lew Korman.

Property revolves around a group of humanoid cats (with feline names like Lion-O, Tygra, Panthro and Cheetara) who must flee their planet of Thundera after it’s destroyed. Once crash-landing on another planet, Third Earth, they must thwart Mumm-Ra, an evil sorcerer, bent on killing them off.

Sopocy has written the script as an origin story expanding on the major heroes and villains from the animated series, with the plot focusing on Lion-O coming of age as the leader of the Thundercats.

Project was brought to Warner by Palek Patel, VP at Spring Creek. Dan Lin is overseeing the pic for Warners.

The Thundercats franchise began in 1983 and spawned several animated series, with the most recent airing on Cartoon Network, a toy line produced by LJN and comicbooks published by Marvel and DC imprints. Warner Bros. has owned the rights to the animated series since acquiring Telepictures Corp. in 1989.

Studio’s recently been bitten by the nostalgia bug, pacting with Joel Silver to produce a live-action “He-Man” movie, based on the toy and cartoon franchise, as well as a feature based on the DC comicbook “Teen Titans,” a junior Justice League.

Weinstein most recently produced Warners’ “Blood Diamond,” and with HBO Films is prepping “Recount,” based on the 2000 presidential election, with Sydney Pollack set to direct.

“Thundercats” is Sopocy’s first studio script sale as a screenwriter. He’s currently senior writer, print advertising, at Fox Broadcasting Co., and has previously penned short films including “Staring at the Sun,” which was screened at the Sundance film fest in 2005.

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