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Look out for more coverage of
Thunderbirds in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Thunderbirds

THE STARS:
Sir Ben Kingsley • Bill Paxton • Brady Corbet • Vanessa Anne Hudgens • Soren Fulton
DIRECTOR: Jonathan Frakes

Space mission THE CONCEPT:
Live-action version of the classic 1960’s puppet series about the Tracy family who pilot the Thunderbird machines for International Rescue.

U.S. RELEASE: July 30 2004, Nationwide • Rated: PG

THE COMMENTS:

JONATHAN FRAKES:
“When Sir Ben came in to meet me, I offered him the part of The Hood, obviously, and we’re thrilled that he took it. The timing of his having done Sexy Beast and House of Sand and Fog was a gift that we got, because he was ready to drop some of that emotional, exhausting, suicidal, painful acting that he’d been doing and embrace a family film. His kids also helped us by encouraging him to play The Hood, because they were Thunderbirds fans. He also does a great Patrick Stewart impersonation, which wasn’t lost on me.”

SIR BEN KINGSLEY (The Hood):
“I think Jonathan Frakes was the perfect director for this project because he was really committed to making a lovely film for young people. I started my days as an actor playing to children three to eight years old. If you’re going to introduce a whole section of people to Thunderbirds and a new audience in the cinema, you’ve got to aim for excellence, so that was my starting point with this film.”

SOREN FULTON (Fermat):
“I love working with the green screen. It wasn’t too hard for me because I’ve got a really big imagination; I read a lot of books. It’s just like a little bubble inside of my head, like those thought bubbles when you’re picturing everything – that’s what I do.”

FRAKES:
“We were lucky, because we developed a lot of the movie’s (designs) in pre-production, so I was able to share with these guys what the outside of the window of the spaceship would look like. But having to pretend that you’re moving when you’re not is always a challenge.”

KINGSLEY:
“Children have a spontaneity, they have a purity, they have a morality and they have an ethical approach to things and a curiosity that is utterly refreshing and reminds me of my first days in the theatre. When you work with children, you’re working with people who are taking first steps, who are discovering the meaning of a word or an emotion or sentiment for the first time before your eyes. I find this absolutely thrilling and invigorating. WC Fields was very wrong about working with children, but then he was probably drunk at the time.”

FRAKES:
“One of the things about making a film like this is that for an audience who knows the Thunderbirds, all of their precious icons are in the film, and for an audience who doesn’t know the Thunderbirds, they get to go on this adventure with this International Rescue organization. It was very much like the Star Trek movies, if you didn’t know anything about Star Trek and you went to see First Contact, you needn’t know anything about any of these people, and you get introduced to them; Thunderbirds is a great family adventure fantasy.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Thunderbirds site
Images above © Universal Pictures
Feature © 2004 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #647, August 2004 cover

Keep up with the latest movie news, reviews and features with every issue of Film Review and for films and TV in Sc-Fi and Fantasy look for Starburst

Starburst, Thunderbirds 2004 cover

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