Comic book movies are so IN right now!
Not only has the public wholeheartedly embraced them, but the movie world is doing back flips now that they have found properties that can make them enough money to sink their newly purchased yachts with the weight of their newly purchased coke. Probably. Surely, directors from other walks of cinematic life must be choking at the bit to direct a comic book franchise. So, come with us as we take a look at who we think should direct a comic book flick and which one would make the screen SING with pure awesomeness.
- MARTIN SCORSESE – 100 BULLETS
Scorsese is the master of the crime thriller. Anyone who has seen Goodfellas, Mean Streets, Gangs Of New York or Casino knows how masterfully he can handle the seedier side of life. His direction provides nuance and depth to his characters and story while his keen eye creates innovative and startling imagery you never forget. Oh, and he can handle violence like Baskin Robbins can handle ice cream. 100 Bullets anyone?
For the uninitiated, 100 Bullets sports one of the more intriguing high concepts; what if you were given a briefcase which contained a gun and 100 bullets, both untraceable and were set loose to right the wrongs in your life? Focusing on the machinations of the mysterious Agent Graves, 100 Bullets took the comic world by storm when it was introduced in 1999. Created by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso, the series progressively took us deeper and deeper into Graves dark and disturbing world as each subsequent arc turned up the mystery, the twists and the sheer violence of this frantic, multi-colored world. It is a world Scorsese has visited before, but never in this particular style. Sticking as close to the original series as possible, the weight and depth the director could bring to the material would make it sing on film and guarantee an entirely uncomfortable but absolutely gripping viewing experience.
- QUENTIN TARANTINO – HEROES FOR HIRE
Two heroes; one a jive talking, power house who could make Shaft look subtle, the other a mystically powered martial arts master brought into the modern world. Together they hire out their particular skill sets and powers to the highest bidder, whilst always trying to maintain their heroic nature, their street credibility and their bottom line. Could there BE a more fitting vehicle for Mr. Tarantino? Luke Cage (otherwise known as Power Man) and Danny Rand (otherwise known as Iron Fist, or ‘the white guy’) have been one of Comics most enduring partnerships and the main reason for this is their realistic and natural interaction.
Forget the TV versions currently knocking about, Tarantino could have a FIELD day conjuring up conversation between these guys. It would make Reservoir Dogs look like an Adam Sandler movie. Set in the mean streets of New York, Cage and Rand regularly interact with the lowlifes and prostitutes, drug dealers and pimps of their neighborhood as they try to make a buck. Throw in a couple of over the top villains for the heroes (and Tarantino) to play with and you’ve got something Marvel doesn’t currently have on its movie roster; a cult hit with genuine cool.
- BONG JOON HO – WE3
Bong Joon Ho has emerged over recent years as one of the most interesting and exciting directors in the world. His movies are original, disturbing and completely engage audiences on an emotional level. A perfect match for Grant Morrisons’ heart breaking epic, WE3 then.
Boon Joon Ho wowed the world with another comic book adaptation, Snowpiercer where he took the source material and ran with it, creating one of the most affecting movies of recent memory. Packed full with unusual beats, bewildering characters and spine chilling violence, the full effect of the drama relied on its characters though and the connection the audience felt for them.
WE3 is the tale of three domestic animals; a dog (Bandit), a cat (Tinker) and a rabbit (Pirate) who have been genetically modified and technologically advanced into killing machines by the usual consortium of shady government agencies. Breaking free and seeking freedom, the story follows their pursuit into the outside world by the military and other engineered killing machines as the three animals have only each other to rely on. Although it might sound slightly trite, in the hands of master story tellers Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly, WE3 proves itself to be harrowing and, ultimately, absolutely heart breaking, like a techno inspired, nightmare version of Watership Down. Bong Joon Ho could knock this kind of material out of the park and have everyone leaving the cinema sobbing but amazed at what they had just experienced.
- DAVID FINCHER – BATMAN
With Warner Bros. about to re-launch a solo Batman on the public in the form of Ben Affleck in their upcoming, surely they’ll be looking for a director to navigate this new iteration of the Dark Knight into cinemas in a solo effort? Now that Benster is not directing, as first thought, so where does that leave a rudderless Bat-flick? Well, may I just direct them to their local DVD store (if, in fact they even exist anymore) and ask them to hire the movie, Zodiac. It’s okay, it’ll be a weekly so they can just get it as one of five for a couple of bucks. You’re welcome Hollywood. What you’ll see in Zodiac is a director completely at home in the gritty world of the crime drama, a must if you’re going to inhabit the world of Gotham. You might also want to include in that weekly bundle, Alien 3, a greatly misunderstood classic, but one which shows that David Fincher can handle the more horrific elements inherent in Batman’s greatest villains.
Panic Room will take you up to three weeklies and will highlight how a master director handles tension, the very life blood that the caped crusader thrives on. Want to see how your future director of bat-epics might handle the strange and insane world of the Bat franchises greatest asset, the Joker? Check out the loony tunes, hysteria of Fight Club. And to round out your five weeklies, popcorn and ginger beer night in, Seven. The movie which combines all the previous elements into one seamless and brilliant cocktail. Batman deserves someone with grit and real vision and David Fincher could take the Dark Knight to places Adam West only ever dreamed of.
- PHIL LORD and CHRISTOPHER MILLER – DEFENDERS
The Defenders were like the Avengers on magic mushrooms. Created in 1971 by Roy Thomas and Ross Andru, the Defenders were a hit in their day, in part probably because most of its readers were, um, taking magic mushrooms. Hey, it was the 70’s! Comprising members who, at their best couldn’t stand each other, the team originally consisted of Dr. Strange, the Silver Surfer, Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner and the Hulk. An insanely powerful gathering of super heroes, their power was only matched by their instability and the levels of pipe induced craziness their adventures conjured. The Defenders regularly found themselves in other dimensions, fighting villains beyond comprehension and fighting amongst themselves as much as any evil-doer.
When it worked, the title was amazing, though there was no denying the inherent comedic quotient such a combination of characters engendered. And that’s where Phil Lord and Christopher Miller come into the picture. Co-Directors of the Lego Movie and Cloudy With a Chance Of Meatballs, the pair also showed their comedic chops in 21 Jump Street and its sequel. Marvel could use something completely offbeat in their cinematic universe and the Defenders would definitely tick that box. Lord and Miller could present the team as definitely something not to be messed with, involved in high stake missions with all creation at stake, but at its heart it would be a surreal and brilliantly funny team dynamic film. Lord and Miller know this territory very well and the Defenders could well be the Marvel film which breaks the formula and the box office at the same time.
- JAMES CAMERON – AQUAMAN
Let’s face it, when James Cameron goes near water, something epic happens. Titanic? The Abyss? Piranha II: Flying Killers? Okay, so maybe not the last one, but Cameron has exhibited his obsession with the deep blue on numerous occasion, including his involvement in further documentaries and aquatically themed features such as Deep Sea Challenge 3D and Aliens Of The Deep. Aquaman has always been regarded as a second stringer hero next to the likes of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, even though he is of royal stock, has a pretty impressive power set and has the entire ocean as his playground.
In the hands of a director who not only loves the ocean, but is a master at spinning box office smashing epics, Aquaman could finally take his place at the big boys (and girls) table. Throw him into the middle of an epic, ocean spanning adventure which highlights what new digital technology can do and let the world see how mighty the king of Atlantis (and Cameron) really is.
- STEVEN SPIELBERG – SUPERMAN
Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel came as something of a palette cleanser after Bryan Singer’s lukewarm Superman reboot. Audiences were underwhelmed by Mr. Singer’s vision of Superman and wanting to rake in some of that comic book movie gold, Warner Brothers and DC went in for a reboot. Some felt it was too soon, most didn’t care and just wanted to see a Superman worthy of the character brought to the modern screen. Snyder delivered, at least in the sense of big screen action, yet, most felt that there was something missing and that thing was heart.
Superman thrives on his compassion, his warmth and, ironically, his humanity. Snyder is many things as a director, but a warm and fuzzy one he ain’t. Batman Vs. Superman confirmed that. Cue, Mr. Spielberg. Not only is he adept at dealing with aliens (E.T, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, War Of The Worlds, Indiana Jones And The Crystal Skull), but Spielberg is the master of the warm and fuzzy epic. The reason why we loved Christopher reeves as Superman wasn’t because of the craptastic 80’s special effects; it was because of his compassion, his refusal to let his higher aspirations be swayed. Besides that, he was just so damned likeable! Spielberg gets this and his Superman would not only have the epic, blockbuster, globe spanning adventure fans demand, it would also have a hero you actually gave a damn about and aspire to be.
- JJ ABRAMS – GREEN LANTERN CORPS
JJ Abrams would have to be the reigning king of the space epic right about now. After his phenomenally well executed duo of Star Trek movies, Abrams wowed the world with a Star Wars re-launch which had everyone reaching for their toy light sabers and wishing they were half as cool as BB-8. It seems like Abrams can handle multi-character, space melodramas in his sleep, so imagine what he could do with an entire Corp of 7202 Green Lanterns?
Okay, so maybe the first installment might focus on slightly fewer members of the Corp, but with a sandpit that big to play in, who knows what Abrams could accomplish? Making the Star Wars universe look about the size of my backyard, the Green Lantern Corps are possessors of will powered rings which can do anything, created by the oldest remnants of our universe, the Guardians as an intergalactic police force. All of space is their precinct and with nothing to stop a story teller but his imagination, the Green lantern Corp could be a trilogy, or a hexalogy or even an heptalogy which would make Lord Of The Rings look like Weekend At Bernie’s.
- TREY PARKER and MATT STONE – HOWARD THE DUCK
Devised by Steve Gerber in 1973, Howard the Duck was a character created to satirize and dissect the times he was created in. Trey Parker and Matt Stone have been ruthlessly satirizing the world around them since the mid 90’s, most notably through the still running South Park series, but also through their other projects, That’s My Bush, Team America, Orgazmo and The Book Of Mormon. Howard the Duck is always a product of his times and who better to contemporize his world than the two cleverest, most satirical purveyors of bad taste in America today?
With Howard the Duck introduced into the Marvel Cinematic universe in Guardians Of The Galaxy (briefly), would Marvel consider handing over the keys to one of their movie properties to Parker and Stone? Um, highly unlikely, considering the South Parker creators have offended most everyone in the world at one point or another. Still, we can dream of the humorous possibilities which might come from the project.
- EDGAR WRIGHT – HATE
Hate was created by Peter Bagge and followed the misadventures of Buddy Bradley, a no-hope, slacker whose life revolved around drinking, his local band scene, pissing off everyone who came within slapping distance of him, girls and more debauchery than you could point a Salo at. E
dgar Wright touched on these themes when he directed Scott Pilgrim Versus The World (and we all saw how amazing that was). Yet, Hate is a far seedier, more cutting edge ride and lord knows what Wright could do with the world Buddy inhabits. The main thing about Hate, though was that it was FUNNY and with years of material to draw from and with the Directors uncanny gift for visuals, Bradley and Wright could be a marriage made in heaven… or, you know, that other place.