Cartoon Network has a show called Ben 10 that’s ridiculously popular with young boys at the moment. I’ve never heard of it before, but I imagine that some of our readers with children are all too familiar with shelling out big bucks to their grubby little offspring so they can buy all of the latest Ben 10 whosits and whatsits. I mean, when they made a live-action special based on this character, four million people watched. I didn’t even know that many people still watched cable TV in total; this thing has to be huge. And you know what happens any time something becomes a well-known brand name in the world of anything. Hollywood looks to make it the next big summertime franchise.
This time it’s legendary producer Joel Silver looking to help Ben 10’s jump from small to big screen happen. I’m sure you’ve heard of him, he produced pretty much every amazing thing ever, like Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Predator, The Matrix, and Hudson Hawk. Okay, so maybe Hudson Hawk isn’t awesome, but point is: Silver has been around the block. For the people behind Ben 10, having him on board to put this project together must be seen as a real coup. As a matter of fact, I have a quote from the chief operating officer of Turner animation Stu Snyder that says as much right here, “I cannot think of anyone better suited than Joel Silver to develop a theatrical action-driven adventure based on our franchise Ben 10.” There you have it.
Some of you, like me, are probably not too familiar with the source material. So what exactly is a Ben 10? It’s the sci-fi adventures of a boy named Ben Tennyson who can transform into 10 different alien creatures because he wears a gauntlet looking thing called The Omnitrix. Silver says that his sons clued him in on the popularity and awesomeness of the show and now that he’s aware of the potential, “We really see this as a large, big-budgeted tentpole movie.”
He also hilariously says of his attempts at translating a children’s cartoon to the big screen before, “I tried to do (something similar) with Speed Racer and failed miserably. You always learn more from the ones that don’t work than the ones that do work.” I know that Speed Racer has its defenders out there, but it really made my eyes bleed when I watched it, and hearing Joel Silver refer to it as a miserable failure is pretty funny. Also, it’s encouraging to me to hear that he wouldn’t take this new potential franchise in a similar, way out there direction. So, yeah, I don’t know… big budget movie, kid who turns into monsters, Joel Silver producing. Sounds like it could be a big deal to me. How many people are going to have to round up their tykes to go see this one when it comes out? And how many people who don’t have kids are going to just go anyways? Come one, raise your hands, I know you’re out there. [Variety]