Five comics that deserve a movie
|LISTS - MOVIE LISTS|
Some gems have slipped through Hollywood's voracious comic > movie trend...
I couldn’t have agreed more with Gabriel Ruzin’s recent article on the pillaging of superhero stories by Hollywood. While there have been some great comic book movies made in the last decade, there are some that were less than stellar, and some proposed movies that – while they may appease those of us that like more than just the mainstream heroes – don’t show much box office promise, due to a movie audience that isn’t familiar with lower-tier heroes.
While I would shell out the bucks for a Luke Cage / Iron Fist movie, not too many others would. And Hollywood has proven that they are willing to go outside of the superhero genre when it comes to comic book movies. And if they’re done right, we can avoid missteps like League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. So if I may be so bold, here I offer a few funny books that I think deserve the transfer to the big screen...
With the exception of a terrible made-for-TV movie in the early 90s, The Riverdale Gang has been relegated to animated series. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of material here to work with, since Archie comics have been in continuous publication since the 1940s. While the gang has changed over the years – the current writers have even recently added Riverdale’s first openly gay student – the core essence of what makes them likable is still there. Archie spin-off Sabrina the Teenage Witch did very well with her own live-action series, and Josie and the Pussycats got their own movie (while not a very good film, it’s a guilty pleasure for me), so why not the gang we all grew up with? Dammit, Jughead needs to grace the big screen!
4. Doctor Who: The Forgotten
Every six months or so, someone in cyberspace starts posting rumors that there will be a Doctor Who feature film. Some rumors have stated that David Tennant would reprise his role as the Tenth Doctor, while others have gone so far as to cast actors such as Johnny Depp in the role (and while I love all things Depp, there should never be an American in the role – ever). My thought is simply to bring Tennant back and adapt this fantastic graphic novel for the film. The book plays out almost like a 'Ten Doctors' special, but with The Doctor trying to regain his memories of his former selves in order to figure out where he is. Since the flashbacks would require the older incarnations of The Doctor to look like themselves, I propose doing the film as a CGI animated feature, with sound-alike actors taking over for William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, and Jon Pertwee, all of whom have passed on. And if done right, we can avoid the Peter Cushing films of the 60s (because no one wants to remember those).
Neil Gaiman’s take on the DC character had little resemblance to the gas-masked hero who came before him. Gaiman weaved a tale steeped in mythology and folklore, with a bit of fairytale added. The imagery in these books is beautiful, and would make for one hell of a movie. This is definitely the sort of project I could see Guillermo del Toro taking on. As a plus, the main character runs into John Constantine, which means that they could do it right and get James Marsters to play him, and set the Hellblazer title up for a re-boot.
2. Vampire Hunter D
This series of Manga spawned two animated features, but both paled in comparison to the books. The books are set in the year 12, 090. Vampires have ruled over humans since the 21st century, when humans initiated the last world war. But the humans are ready to take back what is rightfully theirs. The main character, D is a dhampir – half-man, half-vampire – who agrees to help a young farm girl fend off the advances of local Vampire lord Count Magnus Lee. The books are dark, creepy, and bloody, and it just screams for a film version. Now this is the sort of role I could see Johnny Depp in.
1. Everybody’s Dead
Brian Lynch originally wrote this as a screenplay, and shopped it around to studios, only to be rejected. So, as any self-respecting author would do, he re-worked it and shopped it to comic publishers. Everybody’s Dead is the story of a fraternity house, the occupants of whom are mysteriously immune to the plague of zombification. The group consists of a motley bunch, all trying to stay alive so that they can find a way of defeating the flesh-eating hordes. Lynch’s story was ahead of its time, as zom-coms are now big business (Shaun of the Dead, Dance of the Dead, Zombieland, etc.). The humor is dark, but extremely funny, and with the right director, I think this book has the potential for movie greatness.
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