Rumor Patrol: Michael Bay Is Not Making A Secret 'Thundercats' Movie

Update: Writer Rhett Reese has shot down this rumor on Twitter. Our original article continues with an update at the bottom of the post.

Director Michael Bay has spent more than a decade working on Transformers movies with only a few scattered non-Transformers projects in between. But now a new rumor says Bay is working on a live-action adaptation of a different 1980s cartoon.

IGN claims Bay is at the helm of a secret Thundercats movie for Netflix with Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds in a lead role – and the film is in production right now. Read more about today's wackiest film-related rumor below.

What We Know

Here's what we know for sure: Michael Bay and Ryan Reynolds have teamed up to make a movie (a co-production between Netflix and Skydance Productions), and it's filming right now with a script from Deadpool and Deadpool 2 writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. We also know the film is Netflix's most expensive original movie yet. All signs point to the movie being called Six Underground, which was reported to be about "six billionaires who fake their own deaths and form an elite team to take down bad guys."

The Rumor

But now a new report has come along to claim that Six Underground is actually a secret Thundercats movie. Yes, the same Thundercats from the 1980s animated series about cat-human aliens. Here's the intro of the old show:

The report comes from IGN Middle East, which says that "while the action flick is said to be a war movie, IGN Middle East has learned that the film – which will be shot in Abu Dhabi, UAE in November of this year – is actually an adaptation of Thundercats, the hugely popular cartoon series from the 80s." Their source is someone who's working with the Abu Dhabi production unit, the same person who told them that Simon Pegg would appear in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (which also filmed there). IGN claims Six Underground is merely a codename used to avoid leaks and divert attention from the project.

The Case Against

IGN's article linked to a different outlet's piece from 2012 that listed Bay as a producer on a Thundercats movie. That linked article turned out to be a fake that was written on April Fools Day, so IGN has since updated their report with a link to a different article which also lists Bay as a producer. But that article doesn't cite any sources for the claim and is most likely based on the information that appeared in that same fake April Fools Day piece.

Setting that aside, would Bay really want to jump from Transformers right into another geek-friendly '80s property? It seems like that's the type of movie he's trying to get away from, not embrace.

Former /Film writer and friend of the site Germain Lussier is currently on vacation in Florence, Italy and came across Bay filming Six Underground. You can check out his whole thread, but there's no Lion-O, Cheetara, or Snarf to be seen.

Looks an awful lot like a regular 'ol action movie to me.

And then there's the new animated Thundercats TV series, Thundercats Roar, which seems to imply that the franchise is moving in a more kid-friendly direction. A Michael Bay-directed action movie starring the guy who plays a foul-mouthed superhero doesn't exactly seem like it's on the same wavelength as this new show.

The Case For

As the surprise release of The Cloverfield Paradox showed, Netflix clearly loves the attention that comes with dropping an unexpected project for its subscribers. Can you imagine the hype if this ended up being true?

As much as I'm on board with seeing Bay step back into the kind of high-octane action thrillers of his early filmography, I'd be lying if I said that I had no interest in seeing how in the hell this seemingly modern action film might also be a Thundercats movie. If Ryan Reynolds' character's name is John Lyono, and Melanie Laurent is playing someone named Chi Tara, does that technically count as a fresh take on a Thundercats movie?

At this point, Netflix might want to consider having a conversation with Reese and Wernick to see if they can retroactively make this a Thundercats movie even if it isn't one. (Not really. That was a joke, and Six Underground is almost certainly not a Thundercats movie.)

Besides, The Onion wrote about Bay directing a Thundercats movie in 2009, so this would be pretty ridiculous if it ended up actually happening. We've reached out to Netflix about this and will update this article if we hear back.

Update: Writer Rhett Reese has gone on the record to deny this, and we've heard from a separate source close to the production that IGN's report is not accurate. We'll update again if we hear an official response from Netflix.