Two words that seem to be associated with all of the movies I desperately want to see Hollywood get off their retarded buts and make. For whatever reason the comic book movies that are being made are typically the b-grade ones and the front-line, A-list super-hero ones. What about the front-line, A-list ones that don't fit into the target demographic that Hollywood so wrongly thinks it understands? Where will our next 300 or Watchmen come from? And will they have the stones to actually get it right, unlike the abysmal failure of V For Vendetta?
These days when you troll through the updates over at the revamped (and I can't say I like the new format) Comic Book Movies, you'll see all kinds of news that you can get geeked about. Thor is coming. If they allow the script to be written by an even half-way decent person who understand who Thor is and what the magic is that makes him such an exceptional comic figure, it's going to be terrific. Spider-Man is being reset. Will the new wave of his films be able to surpass the Toby Maguire era? Fantastic Four is coming back, with promises to completely overhaul it. Can they finally get it right and introduce us to the world's greatest family the right way? How will Warner Brothers follow The Dark Knight? Do they have the stones to actually do The Dark Knight Returns (No!) and shock the world with its visionary understanding of the end game for Bruce Wayne? Can Green Lantern deliver on the hype, and can they make Ryan Reynolds believable as Hal Jordan (my guess is no.) Most importantly.....when will we see The Flash?
These are the questions that we can bat around and ultimately find answers for, because these are the movies that Hollywood around going to make sooner than later. Today though, I think we should throw around the names of the best stories we know they're never going to make (or in some cases they're never going to make WELL.)
I'm going straight to the top of the list for this one, because it's been rumored for so long, and has had so many names attached to it. The movie always seems to be in some kind of production hell, and really, how do you do this thing unless you're prepared to make at least 4 movies? From way back when James Marsden signed on to play Custer, right through conversation suggesting that it may turn out to be an HBO series instead of a movie, we have been sitting on pins and needles waiting for this one to finally come along. Sadly, I think we may end up waiting forever.
Yes, I said Alpha Flight. With all due respect to my American readers, I'm more than a little bit tired of Hollywood's assumption that super-hero movies where the main character/main story aren't American at heart will lead to failure. I was annoyed when they turned John Constantine into an American and stole the charm of the British occultist from the silver screen, only to replace him with a pale imitation played by Neo. Why do I think Alpha Flight, Canada's super-team can make a great big-screen movie when the book is constantly getting canceled? Well to start with, there is that guy who sells more than any hero you can think of, who happened to be on the very first incarnation of Alpha Flight. What was his name? Oh yeah, Wolverine. Add to that Puck (a bad-ass dwarf in the movie? Who doesn't want to see that?) and Shaman and the rest of the ensemble heroes and you have a visually incredible story with less histrionics than you get in an X-Men movie and more creative freedom for the script writers. Dead in the water because nobody understands how great this could be.
Simple, the concept is too big. Nobody will know what story to tell, and nobody will have the stones to go after it. I think the best bet for this is an HBO show not unlike the Twilight Zone, with independent episodes held together by the common theme of Morpheus. If you had to do the movie, which story would you tell? How do you choose? The Doll's House? A Season of Mists? Dream Country? Doesn't matter, because you'll never see this one made, and if you do, it won't be done well. Hollywood doesn't understand comics that are smart, which explains why they didn't think 300 would be big.
Batman - The Cult
You know how I know this one won't ever get made? Because it's perfectly designed to be a Batman movie. Everything about this four issue series cries out that it's a movie and it fits into the mold of a stand-alone glimpse into the Dark Knight's never ending battle. Instead we'll get another movie where they drag out two or three villains for him to face down, in a constructed story that feels forced and pointless. Because, you know, that sells.
Wait! I know they've already made a whole bunch of these. I should have said "A Superman movie worth seeing." Not going to happen, because the best they could deliver after a decades long wait was a movie that might as well have been made twenty years ago. Kryptonite, Luther, and Lois in distress. Wow. Even Smallville has thought deeper than that script.
12 issues of comic genius, and a story with a moral to it. Religious themes, and a story so many people would be able to relate to. So why is there no talk of getting this done? I cannot stress how good this series is nearly well enough to do it justice, and a well done movie would be epic. Bigger (I think) than The Watchmen as a movie (which was bigger as a comic.)
Days Of Future Past
THIS is the X-Men movie they should have made. Claremont, Byrne and Austin did in 2 issues what writers ever since have been trying to do in hundreds; they created a seminal moment in the X-Universe that is never forgotten. What would you give for a movie that opens in a terrible future where almost all of the heroes are dead? Watching the remnants of the X-Men and the Avengers battle one last time to save hope, and humanity (from itself and its prejudice) of course. Then have the story naturally fold back to the present where they set out to change the future and stop it from ever happening? That's a movie script that is perfect in concept, and yet we get stuck with the crap they've been feeding us. And yes, Wolverine was terrible; largely because it was stupid.
You need 3 movies and they would all need to be extra long. Unless you get James Cameron interested, I don't know how you do it justice. This is one of those series that smart people love, which is the perfect explanation for why Hollywood isn't all over it.
Okay, I missed a lot of good stories that will never see the silver screen. Which ones are your favorites, and what makes you think there's no chance it will be made?
Cam, before you said it......what about Crossed? Zombie flicks always seem to have a voice!