Frakes Launches 'Thunderbirds' Film

By Caillan
July 19, 2002 - 4:28 PM

5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 - Thunderbirds are go once again with Star Trek: The Next Generation's Jonathan Frakes (William T. Riker) at the controls.

Frakes recently signed on to direct a new live-action version of the cult 1960s television series, trade paper Variety reported. Originally conceived as an adult action-oriented film, the revival will take flight under Frakes as a movie for all the family.

Created by British sci-fi mastermind Gerry Anderson, Thunderbirds ran between 1964 and 1966. The series used "supermarionation," a combination of puppets and models, to tell the story of the 21st century Tracy family who ran an international rescue operation. Former astronaut Jeff Tracy and his five sons were ably assisted by their intelligence agent Lady Penelope and her chauffer, Parker. In 1966, a feature film version, appropriately titled 'Thunderbirds Are Go,' was released.

The project was originally being developed by Working Title for director Peter Hewitt, but never got off the ground. Produced by Universal Pictures, 'Thunderbirds' is expected to start filming in 2003.

Frakes started his directorial career on the set of The Next Generation, and went on to helm the feature films 'Star Trek: First Contact' and 'Star Trek: Insurrection.' He later served as executive producer and a regular director on Roswell, before helming the family-friendly 'Clockstoppers.' Frakes most recently directed the pilot for UPN's new Twilight Zone series.

The original Variety article can be found here.

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