Since Hollywood has effectively decided to make every comic book ever into a movie, there’s a mess of comic book movie news floating around these days, so let’s stop fucking around and just compile it all into one big KAPOW! of a post, shall we?
1) Greg Berlanti, who wrote the script for the upcoming Green Lantern (starring Ryan Reynolds, directed by Martin Campbell, due out in 2011), had some intriguing, yet bullshitty things to say about it to the LA Times:
“The character itself was “Top Gun” before Maverick. He was a guy who had to learn how to care. He shut down early in his life because of something that happened to him, and suddenly he doesn’t just have to care about himself, he doesn’t just have to care about the planet, he has to care about the entire universe. It was writ so large. The other side of it was that he was always the comic-book version of Luke Skywalker, imagining that you’re picked for this group of heroes that’s there to defend the entire universe. It always had this great kind of wondrous scope to it, and as a kid who ran around in his Superman Underoos, it was a chance to do a superhero movie that went off planet.”
Yup. Two ways of looking at it. It’s either gonna be (forgive the lame critic-speak) gay-midget-meets-whiny-bitch-with-daddy-issues, or badass-fighter-pilot-meets-Jedi-Knight. Let’s hope for the latter, shall we?
2) As for The Flash, which he is also writing?
“I think it’s tonally somewhere in between [‘Green Lantern’] and ‘Dark Knight.’ You’re dealing with somebody who is already a crimefighter in a world of those kinds of criminals and that kind of murder and homicide. I find you talk a lot about different films when you’re working on a film, and we spend a lot more time talking about ‘Se7en’ or ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ as we construct that part of Barry’s world, then I thought when we got into it. It helps balance a guy in a red suit who runs really fast.”
OK, stop referencing other movies, first of all. Secondly, Se7en? Maybe I need to re-read some of my old JLA comics, but, that doesn’t sound quite right. Look, I loved The Dark Knight more than any other comic book movie, but we don’t need to use its tone as the model for all future comic book movies. It worked there because that’s who Batman is. Sigh. You are officially on fucking notice, Mr. Berlanti.
3) Meanwhile, over in the Marvel camp, writer/director of The Avengers, Joss Whedon, is apparently wrestling with how to pull the big hot mess together. The Avengers is a film that I’m simultaneously crazily excited for, and flat-out fucking terrified of. It’s got so many big names in it, and such insane expectations, that anything less than a rousing success is going to be perceived as a colossal failure. I love Whedon, but the task he’s been given is scary as hell… take some of the most revered heroes in comic book history, compile four actors from four different films (Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk), some of which haven’t even been released yet, and somehow make a coherent story that both deals with the formation of the team, AND gives you a kickass adventure. Oof.
That said, as always, Whedon is saying the right things:
“I’m feeling that everything that I have done before has prepared me for this, besides the fact that I’ve been reading The Avengers since I was 11. There are definitely stipulations and restrictions, but Kevin Feige is very active as a producer and worked with me a lot on the story, but they are absolutely honouring the fact that this is my film… But if you look at who they already had, and who they allowed me to add to the cast, they are thinking about the integrity of the characters. Obviously we have to get from point A to point B, and fans really want to see this - and ideas for set-pieces which I said are great. Now I’m going to make them matter and they are completely on board with the idea.”
“I’m still [outlining the script] because it’s finding out how to introduce people to all of these people in this world. ‘By the way, there’s a thunder god. You guys are cool, right? This guy is big and green and this character wears an American flag. It’s all good, right? It’s totally real world.’ Finding the tone and plots that are coherent is what I go to bed thinking about and wake up thinking about, but it’s doable.”
“What I will struggle with, in the outline and throughout, is that I would like to put these actors in a room and just make Glengarry Glen Ross. We’re talking about really exciting people and at the same time I have to keep the momentum of the thing going. I can’t let it turn into a lull fest… They don’t hire Mark Ruffalo [the new Hulk] to say one iconic line and strike a pose. They hire him because he has so much humanity in him. He’s the antithesis of the iconic actor. He’s so human. He was my first choice to play the part, and the fact he is playing the part is nuts! They went to great lengths to make that happen and they understood exactly why he was right for the part.”
You can read the full interview at SFX.
4) Finally, Superman, otherwise known as the unmakeable superhero film. Superman seems like it should be the easiest of characters to adapt, but in fact it’s turning out to be brutally hard. And the rumors about the production are insane — Brandon Routh is coming back! No he’s not! It’s going to feature Brainiac! No, Mister Mxyzptlk! Christopher Reeves is going to be reanimated to play Bizarro! Fucked if I know.
Anyway, the newest news is that Darren Aronofsky (Requiem For A Dream, Black Swan) is in the running to direct the new film (along with Tony Scott, Jonathan Liebesman, Duncan Jones, Matt Reeves and Zack Snyder), which may or may not be called The Man Of Steel (which is an awesome title that they should absolutely use). It’s already got a fair number of heavyweights at the wheel — David Goyer is writing, Christopher Nolan is… um… supervising? Monitoring? Watching from afar like Uatu? ( I know, I know, I’m mixing publishers. Fuck off) Whatever. I have no idea whether or not this is worth the bytes it takes up, but fuck it, there you have it.
So there you go. Crazy-ass shit going on in comic book movie land. Enough to make the comic book geek jump for joy.
Or vomit blood.