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Origin Story: ‘Thunder Force’

Origin Story: ‘Thunder Force’

“A high octane female superhero comedy starring a pair of real-life best friends? I’m in.” 

That was one of my first thoughts when I heard the pitch for Thunder Force. The Netflix comedy film is directed by Ben Falcone and stars Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer as a pair of estranged childhood best friends who reunite after one devises a treatment that gives them the powers to protect their city from supervillains. 

Now that 52 million households are on their way to enjoying Thunder Force, I wanted to share why I wanted to make this story of female friendship (and it only has a little bit to do with the raw chicken jokes).

Women Who Rule The Screen

We typically see the same type of superhero story: a dark brooding hero saving the world. This was a fresh way to deliver a classic superhero concept, dramatically strengthened by the central narrative of lifelong friendships and the ways in which women can combine to become a powerful force. Friendships are forever, even if life and supervillains try to get in the way. 

Beyond superheroes, it’s important to continue to break the prototypical roles women can play. It’s powerful seeing the reaction to Octavia and her on-screen daughter (Taylor Mosby) playing smart, successful scientists in leading roles and giving young girls something positive to aspire to be. I also loved that Octavia's character dedicates her entire life to solving a problem in the world. I want to see women on screen who jump into action and don't wait for anyone else to do it.

There’s A Little Something for Everyone

My favorite part of my job is the ability to entertain, and to find stories that galvanize audiences. At its core, Thunder Force is a great comedy, but coupled with the spectacle, action and female empowerment, the story taps into genres loved around the world. We also wanted to make the film accessible to lots of different ages so the film’s PG-13 rating was important. Too often superhero movies are too dark and comedies too raunchy to enjoy as a family. We wanted Thunder Force to be something that teens, parents (and yes, my 9- and 12-year-old) could enjoy separately and together. 

Offscreen Fun Can Translate Onscreen

As much as I was drawn to Melissa and Octavia, the stellar supporting cast of Jason Bateman, Bobby Cannavale, and Pom Klementieff bring just as many antics and jokes. Jason as a crab-man had me sold! Best of all, you can tell they all enjoyed making this movie together. It's a reunion for many of them and being able to tap into more of those real-life friendships makes it incredibly special and fun. 

Thunder Force is now streaming on Netflix.