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The Runaways Movie You Want Gets a Director You Don't Want

By Miscellaneous | | April 5, 2010 |

By Miscellaneous | | April 5, 2010 |

Apparently rave reviews from Sundance and the appeal of two Twilight darlings (not to mention Dakota Fanning cleavage) isn’t enough to get people interested in the rockin’ girl group biopic The Runaways. Over at Cinematical, Will Goss has a look at the film’s disappointing distribution from Apparition as well as a poll that reveals people don’t actually care that it isn’t getting a proper wide release.

I guess that’s good news for Marvel and fans of the comic book Runaways, which is being turned into a movie. Despite it’s lack of the article (“the”), it’s kind of like the other Runaways in that it’s about rebellious teens, and I could definitely see Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Stella Maeve, Alia Shawcat and Michael Shannon in the respective roles of Nico, Karolina, Molly, Gertie and Old Lace (yes, the dinosaur). I guess there are some boy characters, too, but unfortunately I see no equivalent casting ideas.

From what I gather, fans of the comic weren’t happy that the other movie came out with its confusingly same title. And now, I gather that fans are not quite down with the director in talks to direct the adaptation: Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist helmer Peter Sollett. They’d rather have Joss Whedon, who wrote some of the Runaways comics. Although Whedon is supposedly still in the running, I’m going to bet on Sollett. After all, he did make an indie romantic film, so like Marc Webb he gets a Marvel superhero movie.

Let’s see who the experts choose:

  • Josh Wigler at Splash Page:
    While Sollett is undoubtedly a worthy candidate due to his emphasis on youth culture in “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist,” Whedon feels like a natural fit thanks to having worked on the “Runaways” comic books shortly after wrapping his run on “Astonishing X-Men.” It would be nice in a keeping-it-in-the-family sense, as “Runaways” creator Vaughan himself is working on the film’s story.
  • Matt Goldberg at Collider:
    As you can expect, I side with Whedon, not only because I don’t much care for Nick and Nora, but because Whedon has shown he knows how to write smart, believable teenagers. Oh, and he just so happened to write the second volume of the comics.
  • Drew at The Playlist:
    “Runaways” could deliver some vintage Whedon. Those of us that watched “Buffy” know that he’s got an almost John Hughes-ian knack for understanding high school relationships and emotional states, which would be perfect for “Runaways.” And the scale wouldn’t be overwhelming, either. We just hope if Whedon does get the gig that he’s working from Brian K Vaughn’s original series and not his own disastrous run on the title (supposedly Vaughn has written a script for the “Runaways” movie too).
  • Krystal Clark at ScreenCrave:
    Nothing against Sollett, but I would love to see Whedon take this story to the big screen. He’s such a great writer and he really knows how to tackle this kind of material. Unfortunately, something tells me that the studio might go with Sollett on this one, which is a shame because Whedon could work some serious magic here.
  • Devin Faraci at
    Marvel is in talks with Peter Sollett, who directed Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, to helm the movie. I’m not that fond of Nick and Norah - it’s just so slack - but I like that this is the world to which Marvel is looking. I’m actually surprised that Joss Whedon, who wrote The Runaways for a while, isn’t the guy they’re talking with.
  • Katey Rich at Cinema Blend:
    While Nick and Norah was underseen and regarded as “yet another dopey Michael Cera movie,” it’s actually hilarious and sweet and dead-on accurate about the behavior of teenagers. Presumably that’s what got Sollett the job to begin with, and while he’ll need to pull off some action chops as well, I love the idea of a director who will put character first in a superhero movie. Now to find the teenagers who will be the next generation of Marvel superstars.
  • Kyle Buchanan at Movieline:
    Look, as long as Sollett can find some parts in there for Ari Graynor and Melonie Diaz, I’m in.

  • Kate Ward at PopWatch:
    Sollett seems a smart choice, since Nick and Norah proved he could pull off angst. But will there be enough Vampire Weekend to fill out Runaways’ soundtrack?
  • Caleb Goellner at Comics Alliance:
    Tacking on his experience creating “Raising Victor Vargas” and “Five Feet High and Rising,” which deal with teens coming-of-age in stressful environments, Sollett’s resume seems pretty well suited to tell a story about teens who discover they’re the powered children of supervillians.
  • Russ Fischer at /Film:
    Raising Victor Vargas, the picture that first made Sollett’s name, is better. I suppose if The Runaways is really meant to be “The Breakfast Club with superheroes,” as Deadline refers to it, then Sollett makes a certain sense.