Feb 7, 2018

Tradecraft: Teen Spy Kim Possible Makes a Live Action Comeback

Well, here's some unexpected and very cool spy news! According to Deadline, teenage superspy Kim Possible is poised to make a comeback after an 11-year absence. (And a decade after an unsuccessful campaign for a fifth TV season.) But not quite as you might expect, should you be familiar with the hilarious, whipsmart cartoon spy parody Kim Possible that aired on the Disney Channel from 2002-2007. The new Kim Possible will be a live-action movie. The trade reports that series creators Mark McCorkle and Robert Schooley have penned the script along with Josh Cagan (The DUFF). Adam B. Stein and Zach Lipovsky (Mech X4) will direct. Casting is currently underway. Unfortunately, the new Kim Possible won't be a theatrical feature, but a Disney Channel Original Movie.

In the original series, Kim was an ordinary teenage girl dealing with ordinary teenage problems like crushes, dating, acne, social hierarchy, cheerleading, and homework... along with less average ones like supervillains, monkeys, ninjas, and monkey ninjas. Because in addition to being a regular full-time high school student, she was also a freelance superspy and crime fighter. (Her genes were in her favor, being the daughter of a rocket scientist and a brain surgeon.) With her best friend and sidekick, the clumsy but utterly loyal Ron Stoppable, his pet naked mole rat Rufus, and 10-year old Q-type gadget genius Wade, she took on the likes of the nefarious Dr. Drakken and his henchwoman Shego, Lord Monkey Fist, Señor Senior, Sr. and Señor Senior, Jr--not to mention her cheerleading rival, Mean Girl Bonnie Rockwaller. Part Buffy the Vampire Slayer and part James Bond, the series never condescended to its young audience and featured razor-sharp scripts sure to entertain any adult spy fan with humorous send-ups of 007, Mission: Impossible, S.H.I.E.L.D., Alias, and countless more spy standards. It was also quite impressive visually, with sets galore inspired by Ken Adam.

I'm a bit dubious about the live-action angle, and particularly worried about how Rufus, the naked mole rat, will be handled. (An anthropomorphized CG critter could ruin a live-action version.) I wish we were getting an animated feature or a rebooted cartoon series, but I'm excited to see Kim Possible returning in any form! The original remains one of my favorite spy shows of this century.

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