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Peter Jackson's Thunderbirds

Fun Pod

Alphans
Many years ago, me and my flatmates - film buffs all - used to engage in our own movie debating game, the subjects of which were chosen arbitrarily, before we'd launch into the whys and wherefores.

Not surprisingly, the subject of the "dream combo" would often rear its head. This typically took the form of 'the perfect cast for 'X' ', or 'the ideal Director for project 'X' ' and of course 'the yet unmade classic of property 'X' '.

Although I remember some remarkably prescient discussions (one was "Kong is absolutely ripe for another remake"), one conversation I particularly recall was a mutual agreement that Peter Jackson was ideally suited to helm any remake of Thunderbirds; he was known to be a big fan and was comfortable with the demands of an FX movie.

Imagine my surprise tonight when I read in Brian Sibley's recently released, Peter Jackson: A Film-makers Journey (Harper Collins), that Jackson did indeed -

"... meet Gerry Anderson, and in 1997 made an unsuccessful bid to direct a live-action version of Thunderbirds (a project that eventually went elsewhere and made a poor critical showing)."

Surely one of the great What if's of the SF-movie genre ... (sigh)
:boohoo:
 

DX-SFX

Alphans
Even less well known is that Jim Cameron approached Gerry and Gerry turned down his proposition without even knowing who Jim Cameron was. I'm one of those who wasn't particularly bowled over by LOTR and King Kong was at least an hour too long. Jim Cameron doing Thunderbirds would excite me a lot more. Can you imagine what that might have been like?
 

Fun Pod

Alphans
Jim Cameron's Thunderbirds

If Jim made a feature length version of Trapped in the Sky, I'd be front row centre! :thumbup:
 

Dave

Alphans
It still winds me up to think about what the Thunderbirds film could have been and the big pile of steaming horse poop that it actually ended up being.

A big screen, live action version of Trapped in the Sky is what I wanted to see. But when they finally managed to get a movie off the ground, it turned out as an embarrising mess.

Jonathan Frakes: "I must admit I'd never seen the original series, but I understand it was kinda goofy"

Yeah, sounded like just the man to do it justice...


Told you I still get wound up... :cry:
 

DX-SFX

Alphans
I'm glad it was dreadful rather than a mediocre success. It means it's existence can be easily forgotten so there's more chance it may get done again but properly in the future. The Skyfleet Airbus leaving the hangar in Casino Royale should've been Fireflash.
 

CR

Alphans
Man, at least Fred Freiberger watched six episodes of Space: 1999 to get a feel for it before taking over for Season 2! (One wonders which six eps, of course, since his "feel" was quite a bit different than what had already ben established, but I digress.)
 

DX-SFX

Alphans
Frakes was sent some episodes of Thunderbirds. The main reason he was there was because of Spy Kids and Clockstoppers, hence it turned into Spy Kids on Tracy Island.
 

CR

Alphans
I actually enjoyed both Spy Kids and Clockstoppers, but because they were entertaining escapist fun. They weren't remakes of anything (to my knowledge), so my expectations going in were neutral.
Thunderbirds, of course, already had its established premise & history, so deviating too far from that caused problems. I think we're seeing another example of either trying to update something too much to be loyal to the original work and/or its fans, or updating it so much ("reimagining") that it might as well be something completely new with its own identity.
 

Transporter

Alphans
Of course I would have loved to see Thunderbirds by Peter Jackson or Jim Cameron too. But I still think that the designers of Frakes' Thunderbirds did a good job in modernising the Thunderbirds craft a bit but not too much (apart from turning the most famous Rolls Royce in the world into a Ford :cry:), bloody product placement....!

DX-SFX wrote:
The Skyfleet Airbus leaving the hangar in Casino Royale should've been Fireflash.

I am sorry to say so, but the Skyfleet Airbus was probably the most ugly design of any aircraft I have seen. (I hope you have nothing to do with this design, DX-SFX :shock: ). They should have watched Flightplan to see how a big realistic and cool looking aircraft has to be designed. Apart from its design it was very well done: I have no idea how. Was it a huge prop or done with the help of CGI?

I still think that the chances equal zero that another Thunderbirds movie can be made. After such a financial disaster nobody wants to touch the subject anymore, at least for the next 25 years... :(






Please, dear :santa: could I also have a 1056 Inch Eagle and a bigger hobby room and the Eagle gift set and ...




... okay, okay, the 44 inch Eagle will do, thank you so much santa!
 

DX-SFX

Alphans
No, the design was nothing to do with me. I hated the drop tanks on the wings (why would a commercial airliner have fuel drop tanks?). The reason it was the shape it was was because all the live action was being shot around the lower half of real 747. They took the engines and the engine pylons off the wings and made up new double engines for the inner location, and put on drop tanks to cover the outer mounting points on the wing. The new cockpit shape was digitally added later. Our model obviously had to match that design.

I said to Steve Begg, the FX director and a huge fan of Thunderbirds that this was probably the closest to Thunderbird 2's hangar he was likely to get. I even started painting one of the 1/12th scale Kenworth Trucks in an Air Terrainean colour scheme as an in joke like the Matchbox Cooper Jarrett trucks they used in the series.

I thought the new Thunderbird 2 design was dreadful. Part of the problem was that the art department on Thunderbirds consisted of people who had no knowledge of aircraft and who had never done science fiction before. Do you think it shows (rhetorical)? I put Mike Trim in contact with them and he was on it for a couple of months but part of the reason he left or was nudged was because he was making them look bad.

And that hilarious foam cannon fight in the hangar. Laugh? I nearly started.
 

Transporter

Alphans
DX-SFX said:
No, the design was nothing to do with me.

Glad to hear that :D

I said to Steve Begg, the FX director and a huge fan of Thunderbirds that this was probably the closest to Thunderbird 2's hangar he was likely to get. I even started painting one of the 1/12th scale Kenworth Trucks in an Air Terrainean colour scheme as an in joke like the Matchbox Cooper Jarrett trucks they used in the series.

:D

I thought the new Thunderbird 2 design was dreadful. Part of the problem was that the art department on Thunderbirds consisted of people who had no knowledge of aircraft and who had never done science fiction before. Do you think it shows (rhetorical)?

Come on, it was not sooo bad. I mean, how could you get an aircraft like TB2 airborn anyway (the original one and the one from the new movie)? Of course I would have loved to have someone like Mike Trim in such a project. And I think, that people who are connected to the original stuff should in any case be considered for all kinds of input. And I dont like that everything has always to be "americanised".

I put Mike Trim in contact with them and he was on it for a couple of months but part of the reason he left or was nudged was because he was making them look bad.

This may be the reason, but sometimes creative people are also very jealous.

And that hilarious foam cannon fight in the hangar. Laugh? I nearly started.

I agree completely (good we have no puke emoticon on this forum).
They made anyhow all the characters look ridiculous.

But please don't be mad at me: I have the new FAB1 (1/18) and a new TB2. I always liked cars with six wheels and British Racing Green is my favourite colour... :D [/quote]
 

DX-SFX

Alphans
This may be the reason, but sometimes creative people are also very jealous.

Same thing isn't it?

I mean, how could you get an aircraft like TB2 airborn anyway

Ah, because the TV version had a body that was shaped like a wing cross section. The whole fuselage was a lifting body. When the pod was absent, the craft was lighter anyway. As spectacular as it was, the initial ramp launch was a bit questionable. Either a ski jump like XL5/Harrier or a standard rolling take off makes more sense. Even a conventional VTOL launch.

My Dad always teased me that the RAF could scramble Spitfires quicker than International Rescue could get in the air.
 

Transporter

Alphans
Okay, okay, I have to admit that I call my little sportscar Thunderbird 2 sometimes... it is British, BRG and a bit fat too :D
 
I thought that the new TB-2 would have looked a lot better if they had kept the large booster "cans" and moved the rectangular engine exhausts to the rear empannage as they were on the original, and moved the wings further forward.

But can you really redesign TB-2? The preproduction artwork of TB-2 done for the 2004 series attempt didn't do much changing to the basic design at all.

What was also missing from the movie Thunderbirds was the bold graphic that were so memorable form the originals. The people who were doing the redesign didn't take the graphics into consideration as their concepts evolved, and what they did use looks more like an afterthought.

I'm hoping that a new live action Thunderbirds TV series will follow the "Doctor Who" example - lousy movie (made with American interference) is eventually followed by TV that goes back to the roots of the concept and captures the essence of the original. I just hop we don;t have to wait another 10 years for it o happen, like "Doctor Who."
 

w8cmp

Alphans
Spacecraft Guy said:
But can you really redesign TB-2? The preproduction artwork of TB-2 done for the 2004 series attempt didn't do much changing to the basic design at all.

Has anyone got an image of this handy - I've got the trailer which shows TB1, but haven't seen the redesigned TB2...

Chris
 

Mark42

Chief Eagle Pilot
The new Doctor Who proved with the Dalek that you don't have to alter the basic shape to make it look great to todays audience or sell a new range of toys. All you have to do is apply todays standard of detail and finish quality to the vehicle and away you go.
Then again if you are aiming it at young children you don't even have to bother doing that. When the Thunderbirds film was released afew years ago a national newspaper gave away free copies of a classic Thunderbirds episode. My friend's 4-year-old child ended up watching this DVD all weekend and then on Monday morning, as he left the house on his way to work, his son told him to bring home a TB2; and he's been playing with it ever since!
Why redesign perfection.
 

DX-SFX

Alphans
Unfortunately, Mr Merchandising Man insists that everything gets redesigned so they can sell a whole new range of toys rather than the same old ones. Try to think of any new series that left the old designs alone?
 
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