With Hollywood’s Powers Combined, a ‘Captain Planet’ Movie Will Hit Theaters

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Fans of 1990’s television will be excited to hear that the Ted Turner-created Captain Planet and the Planeteers could soon be jumping from the small, not-high-definition screens in your memories to a big screen near you.

Cartoon Network has penned a deal with Transformers producer Don Murphy and his company Angry Fireworks to create a live action version of the environmentalist cartoon, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The original show ended in 1992, and the followup series The New Adventures of Captain Planet drew to a close in 1996, which means that worldwide audiences have gone 15 long years without the mullet-sporting superhero protecting our planet from pollution and man-made environmental woes.

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During that time, we have seen great superheroes come and go from our movie theaters, and others that have permanently ruined our childhood paragons. Which will this be? With a Transformers pedigree, we might be in for a melodramatic and explosion-profuse treatment, but that would run fundamentally against the spirit of the original cartoon.

For the uninitiated (and those unable to watch the video above), Captain Planet was created by Mother Earth in response to mankind’s disregard for and destruction of the natural world. Despite this singular raison d’etre, the muscular, flying and magical hero cannot spend all of his time saving the earth. Instead, he spends much of his day in hero purgatory, awaiting the joint summons of five teenagers from around the world who possess magic rings. These teenagers, who are from North America, Africa, China, Eastern Europe, and the Amazon, each wields the powers of one of the four classical elements (earth, wind, water and fire) or the power of “heart” (which allows for brain-to-brain telepathy, strangely enough).

What made the original cartoon so beloved was the awful corniness of it, which was even apparent to children: the good Captain had an infinite arsenal of powers that easily ended every conflict, yet he still insisted on prolonging each battle against anthropomorphic representations of major environmental problems by needlessly taunting with awful puns. It remains to be seen, however, if this tone can be (or even should be) accurately replicated in a live action feature film. But if the movie is made, NewsFeed hopes one of the main villains is Duke Nukem — the only bad guy who has ever given the Captain a run for his money.

“The messages of Captain Planet are even more relevant today,” Stuart Snyder, president of Turner Broadcasting System Inc.’s Animation, Young Adults and Kids Media division, told the Hollywood Reporter. “We feel this team can bring the world’s first eco-hero to life in a powerful motion picture that is not only pertinent but entertaining.”

It was reported by Hollywood Today in 2007 that Turner was in talks to create a Captain Planet movie, but these claims had been largely denied until Wednesday’s announcement.

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Everett Rosenfeld is a TIME contributor. Find him on Twitter at @Ev_Rosenfeld. You can also continue the discussion on TIME‘s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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