Awhile ago we got wind of Leonardo DiCaprio producing a Captain Planet Movie alongside Jennifer Davisson Killoran (The Revenant). That was October 2016. Since then we’ve heard exactly diddly on the subject except for the sparse confirmation that the deal is in fact in place with Paramount and that production will proceed sometime between October 2016 and the date of my unfortunate and very violent death.
The film – A perfect fit for the ever environmentally aware DiCaprio as Producer, the Captain Planet Movie is rumored for focus on a new story that takes place after the original 90’s cartoons conclusion.
Actually, the truth is we don’t really know anything more than that yet because nobody has said anything about this film. We don’t know IF it’s in production, we don’t know what the story is, we don’t know about a cast, we don’t even know the official title or a possible release date. Nobody knows anything about this movie. It’s like everyone involved with it got black bagged by the CIA or something.
I personally think this movie is an extremely bad idea since well…do you remember Captain Planet at all? Do you? Do you really?
For those of you who were around or even vaguely remember – Captain Planet was the second longest running cartoon in the 1990’s, focusing mainly on environmental issues like pollution, world peace, and clean renewable energy. The show saw 5 teenagers from across the world receiving magical rings from Mother Nature (Gaia) to combat pollution and other threats to the planet like a dude named Hoggish Greedly.
When they couldn’t sort out their shit which was…usually – they summoned the super green mullet wearing Captain Planet who recites some poetry and then brutally murders the villain in question with a carpet knife before eating them with a side of fava beans and a nice chianti.
The first problem, of course – casting…
The 5 Planeteers are from Ghana, New York, Russia, Asia, and Brazil.
Good luck with the stereotype issue in this movie because each character is literally a racial profile of their respective country to such a defaulted extent that by no means could the original 90’s cartoon be considered as even a vaguely accurate reference point for any culture or person involved here.
I grew up thinking people from Russia all talk like a bad bond villain and that people from Ghana sound like Geordi LaForge.
This is dangerous territory and knowing today’s industry there will be some further complications as well such as gender, sexuality, and equality far beyond the issue of race or representation. That’s not even to touch the actual casting choices or acting skills that might be required. You won’t be able to put a bunch of 37-year-olds in the movie who pretend to be 20-year-olds for a targetted 14-year-old fan base and a bunch of nostalgic old people who accompany them.
The second problem – story…
Initial rumor is that the movie will take place at a point in time where Captain Planet is no longer needed by The Planeteers. While this might change entirely, I don’t think it’s a great idea to pick up a Captain Planet movie as a post-series pan out of events to follow.
Most people today have no idea who the hell Captain Planet is. This is not a similar case to Power Rangers which was also popular in the 90’s – Power Rangers really didn’t need an origin story in the recent movie because Power Rangers never stopped, everyone knows who they are. The shows are still on TV and new ones are even being made.
We also know from the Max Steel commercial that it isn’t a super idea to make a movie about a pretty lame kids TV cartoon character with a cause nobody cares about and try to pass it off as a blockbuster film.
Captain Planet ended before some of you were even born. Nobody knows who this dude is. Give him an origin story so he can establish himself in a new generation with new Planeteers. Make the overall cause he’s fighting for more interesting than putting him against a guy who controls rats and poops out gasoline.
The third problem – Captain Planet himself…
Anyone painted blue, given green hair and an outfit resembling an incomplete set of starter armor in any given RPG game is going to look like a bit of an idiot no matter how cool or good the chosen actor is. It’ll be hard to pull off the look unless almost a complete overhaul is done or a ton of CGI is added – maybe even both. Captain Planet is supposed to be made of pure crystal, his hair is supposed to be grass…yeah, you get the idea.
Then you have to get someone super famous on top of that because this movie is going to need some serious star power to draw any sort of legitimate audience to the cinema. In the case of Captain Planet himself you won’t be able to cast an unknown and you’d have to get someone who isn’t already involved with the hundreds of super hero movies currently popping up across the globe. The market is saturated, there are too many superheroes and audiences are getting tired of the whole concept. Between The Avengers and Justice League franchises headed up by giants like Marvel & DC there really isn’t much space for some blue guy who fights against global warming with a bunch of kids, is there?
Overall we’ll have to wait and see if this movie ever gets off the ground but my guess is it probably won’t and if it does it won’t be well received, much good or make enough of an impact for anyone to care.
Captain Planet was popular in 1991 and even back then the show itself only appealed to a certain demographic of open minded kids willing to entertain the idea that they can prevent pollution and save the world. Other kids just didn’t give a crap and watched Ninja Turtles or The Real Ghostbusters instead – you know, shows that didn’t try to shove a repeating boat load of environmentalist issues down your throat as a big fuck you to the polluting industries in the world.
In retrospect – if we did all listen to Captain Planet back in the day, we wouldn’t be in the shit we’re in right now with Global Warming and Climate Change but just as there was little hope for people to change in the 90’s – there’s little chance they’ll change today and I see absolutely no hope on the horizon for any sort of Captain Planet revival.
Below is examples of two possibilities for a Captain Planet Movie…I leave it to your judgment.