We know that we live in a somewhat golden age of comic-based media. This summer is full of related films (Thor, Cap, GL, X-Men), and next summer will be just as packed (Wolverine, Avengers, Batman, Superman, etc.). When you consider that we’ve seen A History of Violence, 300, Ghost World, Road to Perdition, Scott Pilgrim and a Walking Dead TV series, it makes you wonder “What’s left?”. So here we go . . . ten properties that HAVEN’T been hit up for feature film. (Editor’s Note: The first ten we thought of, actually; we reserve the right to sequalize this thing; Troy wants to meet his quota for February).
Wonder Woman: Yes, we know the TV show is pending. But if Batman, Superman and GL can make it to film, then, oh, we don’t know, the most ICONIC FEMALE SUPER HERO EVER should also be able to make the jump. Of course, it would have to be a pretty action packed story. The irony is that the core of the seemingly most beloved comics version of Diana (the Perez years) has had its thunder stolen by two other properties over time: Xena and the Clash of the Titans remake. Consider: Xena was essentially Wonder Woman, even going so far as to feature Ares as a major foil. And Clash covered the “fighting mythological monsters while audience buys tickets” angle. Sure it’s hard to do. Are you telling me that Nolan’s job with Batman post-Schumacher was easy?
Flash: The inevitable studio pitch: It’s The Fast and The Furious, but on foot! This one has been on-off development, with reports of Geoff Johns doing a treatment, and the writing team from "Green Lantern" taking a crack at it as well.
Teen Titans: The rights for this are out there in movie land, and it seems like it could work. The problem may be getting past Hollywood’s tendency to over-mumblecore anything teen in recent years to get us kids that are actually heroic. Maybe in the wake of the Middle Eastern youthquake, engaged and earnest will be the new ironic. But we kinda doubt it.
justice-league-01.jpgJustice League: We pretty much know that Bale is out. But Cavill and Reynolds (if GL works) could be in; studios would like that. The funny thing is that Diane Nelson has pretty much said that DC isn’t going in this direction in terms of linking properties; I find that odd, since half of the excitement and expectation of “Cap” and “Thor” is people waiting to see how the whole thing lines up to “Avengers”.
Bone: Attention, studios: the perfect untapped kids series of films awaits you here.
Mouse Guard: And here.
Maus: We can hear the groans from people that fancy themselves above this discussion right now. But we can’t help but wonder what Sylvain Chomet (director of Triplets of Belleville and The Illusionist) could do with an animated version of the award-winning tale. Granted, it would be an incredibly tricky, challenging work to make, but that’s part of the greatness of cinema. Casablanca should not have worked, given the chaotic run-up to production and problems during filming . . . but it did. And there are a thousand other examples. Again, it would be hard, but we all know that this is a story that should be told to as many people as possible. If a film would help others find the book, then it would already be a success on one level.
Invincible: From the serious to the super. Invincible already has a lot of ingredients that audiences gravitate toward: humor, action, and an appealing young lead. The truth about Mark’s dad makes for another compelling hook, giving the story a surprising gravity. The main problem here may be the issue of title, considering that the Mark Wahlberg film about Eagles WR Vince Papale had the same name.
Dr. Strange: One of the few remaining big names at Marvel not to make it to the big screen, Dr. Strange can’t be any easier of a sell in a world with Thor and Harry Potter.
Namor: We know some people will be unhappy that we put Namor before Aquaman, but there’s one thing about Namor that helps him make the cut: he’s a dick. Yeah, that’s right. Namor is a self-centered, arrogant, intolerant monarch, all of which makes him catnip to actors ready to chew the scenery in pointy ears. We still think Aquaman has merit (as do James Cameron and Vinnie Chase), but Namor could also be aligned with Dr. Strange and the previously filmed Hulk and Silver Surfer for . . . The Defenders. Yes, it sounds crazy. About as crazy as an X-Men movie sounded in 1990. Whatever happened with that?