The CW announced today that the pilot for the proposed live-action Powerpuff Girls series will not be picked up for this fall, but it also hasn’t been rejected completely. Instead it’s been sent back to development for retooling. How bad could it be? Well, somehow a PDF copy of the script for the rejected pilot has leaked onto the dark corners of the Web. We put on our gloves and retrieved it to see what was inside.
WARNING: If for some godforsaken reason you’re planning on watching this, assuming a version of it ever gets on the air, some of these descriptions may spoil the pilot…assuming anything in this script survives, and hopefully it will not. Remember when a pilot for a Wonder Woman show leaked and it was about Diana being a murderous psycho? This is THAT BAD.
As reported by the press, the first act of the pilot is a live-action recreation of the Puffs’ lives as little girl superheroes, but with as much care taken to make it filmable on a TV budget as possible. The script contains specific instructions to keep all shots of the girls fighting monsters “brief.” Professor Utonium’s first name is “Drake,” and Sara Bellum is dating him (there is no sign of the Mayor). The Powerpuff Girls cartoon exists in-universe, as a merchandising tie-in that “totally whitewashed us.” Also, the girls were superheroes because Utonium forced them to be, dictating every aspect of their lives until they couldn’t take it anymore. ….I feel like vomiting.
Among the casting announcements was Mojo Jojo’s “son,” a human being, which left everyone scratching their heads. Now we know the truth: Mojo has been split into two characters, the father named Mojo Model and the son named Jojo Model. They are both human, and neither has the overdramatic speech patterns that made the animated Mojo such fun. Why even use the name?
The Powerpuff Girls quit being superheroes because Blossom killed Mojo (by accident, but still). In an Incredibles-like twist, a team of “Anti-Powerpuff Activists” got the activity of superheroing banned from Townsville, which is lucky since no monsters appeared in the city from that point forward, despite appearing all the time earlier!
Many years later, the adult Blossom has managed to hold it together, settling in the Northeast with a soft-spoken boyrfiend naned Clive. Bubbles is a washed-up reality TV star clinging to whatever scraps of fame will still make her money. Buttercup retreated completely, seeking out the simple life in a small Oregon town.
The girls eventually meet back up in the present day. Jojo is now the Townsville mayor, implied to be a right-winger, and is seeking re-election. During the Puffs’ reunion, Utonium tells them he senses some trouble may be brewing in Townsville once more, meaning the monsters are coming back. What a coincidence.
The girls make constant references to modern technology and trends so you know they’re “in the now,” and there are a ton of “edgy” spice-ups to their dialogue like “Bloss! Wake up or we’ll leak your nudes everywhere!” Utonium lost all the money he made from the girls’ merchandising by investing in fidget spinners. The Rowdyruff Boys are surprisingly part of the pilot, but their backstory has been rewritten as “a failed spinoff version of us” with no superpowers. Now they own a dive bar, and Butch was engaged to Bubbles at one point but she broke it off without warning and pawned the ring for drugs.
In summary: we dodged a bullet. But the gun is still loaded. The CW won’t give this up yet because the IP is just too valuable — look at all the attention the scrapped pilot alone got. Like Thanos, it may be inevitable. We’re skeptical they can clean the live-action Powerpuff Girls up, let alone make a respectable series out of something whose very premise trashes a beloved cartoon.