So yeah, this is the creepiest thing I’ve seen all week…
Movies From the Multiverse-Captain Planet
I used to be in love with the idea of gritty remakes of good, old-fashioned kid’s shows. I used to laugh at the murderous little shock skits of Robot Chicken, where the Hanna Barbera characters would turn into serial killers and I died laughing when I saw the Batman-gets-his-spine-broken gag on the DC comics special.
|It very nearly ruined Dark Kinght Returns for me, to be honest. Couldn’t stop singing the jig whenever Bane did something badass.|
But I got pretty sick of it, really fast, mostly because Hollywood has become drunk off its pornography of pessimism, counting on shock value and nostalgia to produce dark, grimy movies with no entertainment value beyond the first screening. However, as this trend does not show any real signs of waning, I have chosen to place my two cents on the Internet, in the vain hope that maybe I can make abuse a franchise that has so far eluded any attempts to remake it, mostly due to its overwhelming cheesiness.
With that in mind, I give you:
The Shapescapes Captain Planet Grim and Gritty Remake:
Cue over-produced chorus remake of the Captain planet theme song
The most important part concerning this movie and its promotion is that there will be no obvious, over-the-top promotion, of the kind most blockbuster movies get these days. While there will be a number of posters and other trailers for TV and theaters, most will not be any longer than teaser-length and no details will be revealed about its title or its plot.
The movie will be advertised and promoted as a disaster-movie ARG (Alternate Reality Game), with posters in bus-stops showing Gaia, the Spirit of the Earth se against a black background, laying down exhausted and dying, with only a ray of light illuminating her. Alternatively, other posters will show Captain planet’s silhouette and his insignia in the standard black-and-silver color scheme according to protocol, with his features obscured in the same manner.
The captions will have to read something cryptic: in the case of Gaia, something in the lines of SHE HAS GROWN TIRED OF WAITING and in the case of Captain Planet, NO MORE GAMES.
The ads and trailers will be presented as honest-to-God news announcements of natural disasters occurring across the globe in remote industrial settlements, always showing thirty seconds of footage of a hurricane or a tsunami as it moves in to destroy the area, with a tiny humanoid figure shown hovering above it or before it, oblivious to its effects. The viewers will be given glimpses of the creature as it walks through a raging forest fire, unaffected by the hellish heat.
The idea is that this will allow for the audience to gain an interest in the movie, without it turning into a joke by virtue of its content (I mean, would you go and watch a movie that you know is a Captain Planet remake?)
|Hell, I wouldn't watch it and I'm writing about it!|
In many ways, this movie will have to be pitched as a superhero movie, giving people the impression that the studio is trying to peddle a new icon. It might (if the campaign is pulled off with any success) even give the impression that it is in fact, not another remake that counts on 80’s nostalgia. To further cement that, the name of Captain Planet will never be referenced in the movie and the title will appear in the end credits sequence.
With all this in mind, let’s move on to how the movie will deal with the show’s characters and their role in it:
Gaia in this movie is no longer the eternally patient shepherd, counting on five teenagers to raise ecological awareness. Instead, she is a sickly god who has grown tired of mankind’s proliferation and the disaster they cause to the environment. Poisoned steadily since the advent of the industrial revolution and almost bled dry, this Gaia is intending to take drastic measures in dealing with the pestilence of humanity.
In this version, she is more like the Titans from God of War: an ancient intelligence that serves as the story’s narrator and the one who lets Captain Planet loose to destroy mankind.
Reincarnated by the will and whim of Gaia, this Captain planet isn’t the punning, smiling, mulleted lump of cheese that we knew from the cartoon: instead, he appears as an unstoppable force of natural destruction. Impervious to almost anything humanity can throw at him (shy of an atom bomb, but of course we’ll get to that) and able to manipulate the elements to achieve devastation on an unimaginable scale, Captain Planet is the movie’s main villain.
It is important to note that, in this version, Captain Planet will not speak. He will simply appear as this intimidating, invulnerable son of a bitch who will tear shit up and leave when thwarted, only to return again.
Once the leader of the Planeteers, Kwami gave up on his position as he grew older and his attentions turned from the needs of the environment, to the needs of the people: using his ring of Earth Power, Kwami has become a sort of occult vigilante, operating in Sudan (specifically Darfur), where he fights against slavers and local warlords.
Kwami is the knight in sour armor of the resurrected Planeteers: jaded by the horrors that humanity inflicts on itself, he is going to be the ruthless leader that will require someone to hold him back, as the final confrontation approaches.
This new version of Wheeler is a younger child, who has stolen then Ring of Fire Power from the original, older Planeteer. After discovering its powers by accident, the kid holds onto it but is later overwhelmed by the responsibility that comes with carrying it, when the true crisis begins. After the Original Wheeler dies in the tidal wave that drowns New York, the boy is forced to join the Planeteers and save the day.
This Wheeler is the snarky little kid who’s caught way over his head, forced to grow from a petty thief into a hero in no time flat and will be the counter-balance to Ma-Ti.
Of the original Planeteers, only Linka and Ma-Ti remain optimistic and active, adhering to their old roles. While Ma-Ti becomes the new team leader, Linka becomes his second-in-command, aiding him in his attempt to stop poachers and loggers from destroying the Amazon rainforest and acting as his muscle in his attempts in negotiation.
This version of Linka is essentially an Amazon: capable, strong and equipped with the ring of Wind Power, she will spearhead the attack on Captain planet and will be Kwami’s opposite in his cynical approaches to the problem.
Gi is an eco-terrorist, having left the Planeteers and scoffing at the rest of them for their lack of devotion to the cause. Using her ring of Water Power, Gi has been sabotaging factories, illegal fishing outfits and has amassed a considerable bounty on her head.
Gi originally sees Captain planet’s return and the destruction he wreaks as a much-necessary intervention, but soon become horrified to the death-toll that follows in his wake. She will be the weak link of the team, in the first part of this confrontation.
|It’s a shame how you can’t find anything even remotely cool about him on the Interwebs…|
This version of Ma-Ti is the leader of the Planeteers, plain and simple: having remained true to his original goals with Linka, Ma-Ti has discovered that his ring of Heart Power enables him to not only control the emotions of animals, but also gives of human beings, along with some small psychic ability. Using this advantage as a negotiator to achieve peaceful resolutions, he still counts on Linka to work as his muscle in their treks across the Amazon.
Ma-Ti is the first to realize Captain Planet’s true intent will be the one who will help the Planeteers face their greatest foe yet in combat.
As I mentioned before, this is a sort of superhero movie, mixed with heavy elements of disaster. After Captain Planet destroys New Delhi with a super-storm, the United Nations verify his presence in the middle of the disaster and are thwarted in their attempts to evacuate the survivors. Proving impervious to attack, Captain Planet destroys the armed forces mobilized against him and cuts a swathe of destruction across Asia.
When the news reach Ma-Ti and Linka (who find themselves forced to dispatch a group of poachers, with Ma0-Ti implanting mortal fear in the heart of their leader for the rest of his life), they decide to gather the rest of the old team to stop the Captain from causing further devastation.
They meet Kwami in Sudan, fighting to stop a forest fire and save him from an assassination attempt from a group of slavers, who decide to use the opportunity to their advantage. Kwami is originally doubting that Captain planet is behind this destruction, but after they see him spreading the fire across the coast of Africa and failing to stop him, he decides otherwise.
Gi joins them on their way, looking for them and trying to convince them to join the Captain’s cause in this destruction. Meeting in New York, the team looks for Wheeler, who’s lost the ring and look for his replacement. Following a trail of fire left behind by the boy (who has lost control of it in no time flat), they confront and subdue him. It’s as the old Wheeler is getting ready to don it that Captain Planet reaches New York and creates a Mega-Tsunami, that annihilates Manhattan and drowns New York city. The Planeteers, forced to work with the new Wheeler, try and fail to stop the mute juggernaut that has become the Captain. Reaching into his mind, Ma-Ti tries to contact Gaia and realizes her true, god-like wrath. Unable to withstand it, he falls back and the Planeteers are forced to fall back.
As Gaia realizes that she is confronted with her own past champions, she intensifies her campaign of destruction: swarms of insects cover the land, super-storms rage across the world, waves of vegetation and plagues of vermin choke the cities. The UN launches a nuclear attack on Captain Planet as he is flying over the Gobi Desert, weakening him considerably, but failing to destroy him. It’s during this interim of disaster, with the Planeteers realizing the destructive potential of nature, that the great character changes begin to occur: Kwami becomes the champion he has secretly always wanted to be and Gi, sickened by the loss of life, focuses on helping the new Wheeler master his powers.
Captain Planet is halfway through destroying Beijiing, when the Planeteers summon him and attack him in force, subduing him and finally destroying the snarling thing that he has become. Gaia rages and thrashes, causing the tectonic plates to shiver, sending spider-wed cracks across the surface of the world. Ma-Ti leads the Planeteers into her mind, where they lobotomize her, ceasing her wrath. The spirit of the Earth stands silent in the end, leaving mankind to pick up the pieces.
The rings of Elemental Power become useless, as Gaia is finally silenced. No speech about the evils of pollution or mankind’s abuses is made. The Planeteers only look to one another and at the dead Captain and make their way across the ruined landscape.
|And for the first time in a long time, the Earth is silent.|
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