Never forget that nostalgia is poison. It’s the terrible force that makes grown adults ascribe an unimpeachable level of quality to things they enjoyed at a time when quality didn’t matter to them. There are people in the world who will swear up and down that Space Jam is a good movie, because they liked it at a time in their lives when pooping their pants on a semi-regular basis was still a very real possibility.
Keep that axiom in mind when parsing the news that Oscar-winning bear-wrestler Leonardo DiCaprio is reportedly aiming to produce a Captain Planet movie via his Appian Way shingle, with Glen Powell (Everybody Wants Some) and and Jono Matt in talks to write.
In case you’ve mercifully forgotten, Captain Planet and the Planeteers was an ecology-themed superhero cartoon that ran from 1990-96, in which five ethnically diverse teens could summon the titular green-haired flying goon in order to wage (violence-free) war on the forces of
capitalism pollution. It was unwatchable tripe, but retains a certain cultural currency because of, well, see above. Or possibly irony, the worst reason to do anything. It’s notable for having an impressive roster of A-list talent and character actors on voice duties, with Jeff Goldblum, Whoopi Goldberg, Meg Ryan, James Coburn, Dean Stockwell, Martin Sheen and more all portraying various villains and supporting characters. This didn’t make it good, mind you, but did give the show a greater chance of winding up the answer to a trivia night question.
In any case, like so many things it’s being recycled in the name of brand recognition, but what does strike the faintest spark of interest is the assertion that this version will portray a washed up Captain Planet, his best days behind him, who needs to recapture some of his old glory in order to save the day once more. That’s a touch darker, and certainly more in keeping with the current state of affairs, climate-wise.
Still, this is a film that nobody in their right mind could possibly want to exist. If nothing else, it’d have to work pretty damn hard to beat Don Cheadle’s portrayal of the good captain: