When The CW revealed plans for Powerpuff, a live-action adaptation of Cartoon Network’s The Powerpuff Girls, fans of the hit series were equal parts excited and trepidatious.
The network’s approach to the material raised eyebrows from the start, largely because each member of the iconic trio was set to be portrayed by, and as, adults. Diablo Cody and Heather Regnie’s role in developing the project felt like a step in the right direction, though, as did the fact Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. alum Chloe Bennet was tapped to play Blossom. Dove Cameron was chosen as Bubbles, with Yana Perrault picked to bring Buttercup to life on screen.
Talking to The Los Angeles Times (via Toonado.com), The Powerpuff Girls creator Craig McCracken says he warned The CW that they were taking his beloved characters in the wrong direction.
“I had one meeting with them and I told them, ‘When you turn them into adults, they’re no longer the Powerpuff Girls because if they’re adults, that’s just three super girls who don’t have to deal with being kids,'” he recalls. “That’s a completely different show.”
The CW, the network responsible for the likes of Arrow and The Flash, clearly wanted just another superhero show and that no doubt goes some way in explaining why it didn’t pan out.
“The Powerpuff Girls used to be America’s pint-sized superheroes, now they’re disillusioned twentysomethings who resent having lost their childhood to crime-fighting,” read the synopsis for the now-scrapped series, confirming it was to be a far cry from the animated series fans know and love. “Will they agree to reunite now that the world needs them more than ever?”
After being shot, the pilot was later revealed to have fallen flat, with The CW’s former Chairman and CEO Mark Pedowitz admitting the whole thing was a “miss.” The idea had been to go back to the drawing board and reshoot the episode, but the whole thing fell apart and the series was ultimately scrapped.
In the same interview, McCracken revealed why he’s unable to pick a favourite from the beloved trio. “The girls represent body, mind and spirit. Together they make a whole person,” he says. “They always play off each other. If you remove one the balance is off.”
“When writing them, I’m thinking about what Blossom would say and I immediately go, ‘Bubbles would react this way and Buttercup would do this.’ They function as a single character to me.”
While that live-action project is no more, McCracken is developing a new Powerpuff Girls project with Hanna-Barbera Studios Europe, so it shouldn’t be too much longer before we see them in action again. As adorable kids, of course, not miserable twentysomethings figuring out their place in the world.
Were you disappointed that Powerpuff failed to materialise? Let us know in the comments section.