The Thunderbirds remake has been given the green-light, with ITV and The Hobbit studio in New Zealand teaming up to work on a new instalment of the classic children's television series. A 2015 release date has been earmarked, some 50 years after Thunderbirds was first launched.
According to The Guardian, Parker, Lady Penelope and Tracy Island will return for 'Thunderbirds Are Go!' made by ITV with the same New Zealand special effects studio that worked on Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. The best-loved show first appeared on the British channel in 1965, with Gerry Anderson's famous puppetry techniques. Anderson - whose other shows included Captain Scarlet, Joe 90 and Space 1999 - died in December last year, aged 83.
The new 26-part series will feature a "unique mix of CGI animation and live-action model sets," and will "deliver a whole new level of action-adventure animation for today's audience." ITV Studios UK managing director Denise O'Donoghue said: "Thunderbirds is a highly respected brand that continues to hold recognition around the world."
A Hollywood movie, based on the 1960s television series, was released in 2004 to poor reviews. Starring Bill Paxton and Ben Kingsley, Thunderbirds was set in the year 2010 and focused on the "mysterious Tracy Island when mere international security is not enough." Roger Ebert said, "This is a movie made for an audience that does not exist, at least in the land of North American multiplexes."