After spending the last few years in development hell, there finally seems to be some movement on what IMDb calls the Untitled Ben 10 Project. For those of you not familiar with the Cartoon Network animated series on which it’s based, Ben 10 is about the adventures of 10 year-old Ben Tennyson who discovers a mysterious device, the Omnimatrix, that gives him the ability to transform into ten different alien species – think Green Lantern meets pre-teen Animorphs.
Ryan Engle, who made the famous Hollywood Black List – an annual list of the best unproduced screenplays – has been brought on to replace Albert Torres, whose only credits are 2008’s Henry Poole is Here and the upcoming Akira adaptation. Superstar producer Joel Silver has been championing the project, but with Sherlock Holmes 3 and Lethal Weapon 5 still officially on his to-do list, the extent to which he’s currently involved is unclear.
Interestingly, both writers are relatively untested, which can be taken to mean either a lack of confidence in the property (whose budget is yet to be announced) or a refreshing willingness to take a risk with new talent. Engle apparently worked with Silver on the set of Non-Stop, doing in-situ rewrites on the actioner, which is due for release on October 9th. Given their association and Engle’s work on upcoming sci-fi comic adap The New West, the latter seems fairly likely.
In either case, the fact that the source material comprises four series (the movie will presumably be based on the original), five animated TV movies, and $2 billion in retail sales, suggests that there is definitely a market out there, though whether or not the intended audience has “aged out” before the movie finally arrives remains to be seen.