'Transformers' film producers pact with Cartoon Network

“Transformers” film franchise producers Don Murphy and Susan Montford have pacted with Cartoon Network to develop a live-action feature based on 1990s toon series “Captain Planet.” Murphy and Montford will produce via their Angry Filmworks shingle.

It’s the second cartoon-to-bigscreen agreement for the Turner kidnet in as many months, with Joel Silver signing on last month to develop a “Ben 10″ pic.

“Susan and I started asking people in their early twenties what their favorite cartoon was, and they’d start singing ‘Captain Planet, he’s our hero…,’ ” said Murphy.

He said the pic would be a “Roland Emmerich-type” event movie. “The world of the film should be pretty much where our world is now: earthquakes in Japan, the icebergs melting, tornadoes in Phoenix; all the stuff that’s really happening,” he said.

Two Captain Planet cartoons, “Captain Planet and the Planeteers” and “The New Adventures of Captain Planet,” were produced by DiC entertainment and Hanna-Barbera and aired from 1990 to 1996. The character himself is the brainchild of Turner principal Ted Turner and addresses environmental themes along with tackling supervillains. The show boasted an unusually starry cast of voice actors for the period, with Ed Asner as Hoggish Greedly, Whoopi Goldberg as Gaia, and LeVar Burton as Kwame.

“The messages of Captain Planet are even more relevant today,” said Turner’s animation and children’s programming head, Stu Snyder. “We feel this team can bring the world’s first eco-hero to life in a powerful motion picture that is not only pertinent but entertaining.”

Murphy said another goal is to create a film franchise based on the character, not merely a one-off pic. “We expect to make a spectacular series of films with the amazing team at Cartoon Network,” he said.

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