Joel Silver Developing a Live-Action BEN 10 Movie

     June 13, 2011

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Ben 10 has grown into a massive franchise under my nose.  Since 2005, Cartoon Network has produced a hundred-some episodes of three separate animated series, not to mention one animated and two live-action telepics.  Variety reports Ben is ready to make the leap to his next medium, a live-action theatrical feature.  Joel Silver was tipped off to the property by his young boys, and reportedly sees Ben 10 as a “potential franchise starter.”  Steve Richards and Andrew Rona of Dark Castle will co-produce with Silver — Warner Bros. is in talks for distribution rights. Richards indicated the new feature will recast from any previous live-action iterations.

Read quotes from the filmmakers and background on the Ben 10 story after the break.

ben-10-imageTurner animation COO Stu Snyder lauded the new shepherd of his company’s very valuable television/video game/toy property:

“I cannot think of anyone better suited than Joel Silver to develop a theatrical action-driven adventure based on our franchise Ben 10.”

Silver is not so quick to accept such high praise:

“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 am a defender of that film, and continue to believe Speed Racer was a creative success.  But yes, at the box office: total failure.  That doesn’t mean they’re going out of their way to mitigate risk.  Said Richards:

“We really see this as a large, big-budgeted tentpole movie.”

If the movie is based on the first series, it’ll look something like this:

When ten year old Ben Tennyson, his cousin Gwen, and their grandfather Max are on their summer camping trip, Ben finds an alien pod on the ground. When he examines it he finds a mysterious watch-like device called the Omnitrix. The device permanently attaches itself to his wrist giving him the ability to transform into a variety of alien life-forms each with its own unique powers. Ben soon realizes that he has a responsibility to use his abilities to help others. Along with Gwen and Grandpa Max, Ben embarks on a summer-long adventure to fight evil both extraterrestrial and terrestrial. [Wikipedia]

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