View Single Post
Old 04-10-2003, 08:08 AM
Fan Forum Star

LittleMilkJug's Avatar
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 100,640
Thunderbirds (2004)
Release Date: July 23rd, 2004 (wide)

Release Date Note: (11/5/02) According to the IMDb, the release date might be sometime in July, 2004. Universal is aiming to make this one of their big tentpole releases for the year (along with Alexander the Great and Riddick), so July *is* feasible. (2/10/03) It appears the IMDb's source was good, because Universal has announced plans for a July 23rd release, which currently puts it head-to-head with Mad Max: Fury Road.

Distributor: Universal Pictures

Production Company: Working Title Films (Johnny English, The Kelly Gang, The Italian Job)

Cast: Bill Paxton (Jeff Tracy), Ben Kingsley (Aristotle Spode, AKA The Hood), Brady Corbet (Alan Tracy), Anthony Edwards (Brains), Sophia Myles (Lady Penelope), Dominic Colenso (Virgil Tracy), Ron Cook (Parker), Lex Shrapnel (John Tracy), Ben Torgeson (Gordon Tracy), Philip Winchester (Scott Tracy); other cast not announced yet.

Cast Notes: (11/5/02) Back in 1998, when Peter Hewitt was attached to direct, Kristin Scott Thomas was also announced as having signed to star as Lady Penelope, but it's quite possible that in the four years since, she's dropped out (especially since this is now a "kids movie"). (1/14/03) This is unconfirmed, but The Guardian reports that model-turned-actress Sophie Dahl may be in the running to play Lady Penelope. (1/31/03) Close... the role went to Sophia Myles.

Director: Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: First Contact, Clockstoppers, Star Trek: Insurrection)

Director Notes: (11/5/02) Back in 1998, when this film would have been distributed by the now defunct Polygram Filmed Entertainment (for a release in 1999 or 2000), Peter Hewitt (Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey) was attached to direct.

Special Effects: Industrial Light & Magic (Hidalgo, Peter Pan, Pirates of the Caribbean)

Screenwriter: William Osbourne (cowriter of The Scorpion King, Twins, The Real McCoy, Ghost in the Machine, Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde)

Based Upon: The British 1964-1966 TV series, "Thunderbirds", that used a process called Supermarionation that combined marionettes, models and special effects to create the illusion of live-action actors (and a much larger budget than they actually had). The series is currently (11/5/02) aired in the U.S. on the Tech TV cable channel. The TV show, which only ran for 32 episodes, was previously adapted as a feature film as 'Thunderbirds are Go!' in 1966 and 'Thunderbird 6' in 1968, but that film was also "supermarionation", not live-action like this movie. If this film is successful, it's quite possible that this could become the first of a franchise of 'Thunderbirds' movies. (1/14/03) The Guardian confirms that the producers hope this will be the first in a long series of films, in the British tradition of Harry Potter and James Bond.

Vehicles Notes: (11/5/02) In the TV show, the five Thunderbirds (one for each of the five Tracy sons) were: Thunderbird 1 (a sleek silver rocket ship capable of traveling 15,000 miles an hour) (Scott Tracy); Thunderbird 2 (a massive 250-foot-long green rocket ship used to carry equipment to a rescue scene) (Virgil Tracy); Thunderbird 3 (an orange rocket ship designed for rescues in outer space) (Alan Tracy, plus one other Tracy); Thunderbird 4 (a yellow submarine) Gordon Tracy; and Thunderbird 5 (a satellite station used for monitoring distress around the world) (John Tracy). There's also several specialized vehicles besides the main five, including the Mole (which can bore through rock and earth) (Scott and Virgil Tracy) and the Firefly (used for fighting fires). There's also the FAB 1, a souped-up (machine guns, cannons, smoke screens) pink Rolls Royce that Lady Penelope is chauffered around in, and FAB 2, her yacht.

Nationality Note: (1/29/03) Although the TV series is thought of being quintesentially British, the actual Tracy family in the series and in this film were/are Americans.

Premise: Set in the year 2065, this is the story of ex-astronaut and USAF Colonel Jeff Tracy (Paxton) and his five sons who form a rescue team called International Rescue (nicknamed "The Thunderbirds") that uses a fleet of vehicles, from rockets to boats, to race into action whenever their unique services are required. Helping the Tracys are Brains (Edwards), a technological genius who invented the amazing rockets used by International Rescue; Jeff's assistant Kyrano and his daughter Tin-Tin; the lovely Lady Penelope (Dahl), and her driver, Parker. In this adventure, Tracy Island is attacked by an evil mastermind, Aristotle Spode, AKA The Hood (Kingsley), who wants to use the International Rescue vehicles to commit acts of crime. The emphasis of the story will be on Alan (14-year-old Corbet), the youngest of the clan at 12, who will have to rescue his father and brothers from Spode's villainous clutches, with the help of two of his friends.

Filming: Production is scheduled to start in March, 2003 in the Seychelles (an island nation off the eastern coast of Africa) and on sets at Pinewood Studios near London, on a budget of $70 million.

Genre: Action, Comedy, Eye Candy, Kids, Science Fiction, TV Show

Genre Note: (11/5/02) Originally planned as an action/adventure film for all audiences, "Variety" reported when Jonathan Frakes signed on that the script is being retooled to make the film appeal more directly to a kids/family audience.

from Gregs page


Well as I posted before I'm not so keen on the fact that Frakes has turned this into a kids movie. I still think that they should aim for a teen/young adult audience. Like the X-men movies.
And Kristen Scott Thomas would have been a perfect Lady Penelope. Just think of her in 'Four Weddings and a funeral' with a blonde wig on

It looks like July 2004 will be a great month for sci-fi at the movies what with Mad Max: Fury Road, Thunderbirds and Riddick- which I presume is Pitch Black 2.


[ 04-10-2003: Message edited LittleMilkJug ]
Simply, Lem
LittleMilkJug is offline   Reply With Quote