I’m going to let you in on a little secret that only my parents, wife, friends and extended family know about me: I am a huge comic book geek. Yup, while I was playing high school football and baseball, I was collecting hundreds of classic comics from the 80s, 90s and 2000s which are still bagged and boarded in my home office and from time to time I do go back and read them. The thinig is that I’ve been a comic book fan for so long the evolution of the comic book movie was very exciting for me when it began about a decade ago. But then they started making awful, unwatchable movies and it broke my heart (would a single person have watched Fantastic Four or Daredevil in its entirety if not for Jessica Alba and Jennifer Garner respectively? I think not).
When the first Blade film, the first two X-Men films and the first Spiderman film were released it looked very promising for the translation of my favorite comic book stars to film but then something happened. Greed. These movies became such profitable monsters that the studios began fast-tracking sequels and handing big projects out to writers and directors with no business taking on such storied projects. Hollywood went on to butcher potential dream projects before Christopher Nolan (the best director in Hollywood for the past decade – just watch Memento, Insomnia and The Prestige) and David Goyer came together on Batman Begins it changed the way comic book movies were made. Stories began mattering more than CGI and special effects and once Marvel and DC took back control of their properties from other studios, good films started getting made (as well as the odd bad one to keep the universe balanced – Ghost Rider anyone?) which made comic book movies cool again (Iron Man!).
Television has also proven a successful scen for DC Comics as Smallville is wrapping up its 10th and final season. Thankfully it has taken a different route in recent years from drama to superhero action show with the appearances of Green Arrow, Black Canary, Aquaman, Hawkman, Dr. Fate, Cyborg and famous baddies like General Zod, Doomsday and Darkseid. Wonder Woman is also coming back to TV next year which may or may not be a good thing from what I’ve heard about David E. Kelley’s “reimagining” of the character. But the best DC Comic adaptation on television is Human Target. It’s got action, comedy, drama, great writing, acting and perfect casting. The first two seasons have been great and I hope FOX does a solid and picks it up for a third.
With overdue big screen projects for Green Lantern, Captain America and Thor coming out soon, reboots of Spiderman, Superman and X-Men on the way and awesome characters like The Flash, Green Arrow and Black Panther getting their own films the future looks bright in comic book land.
As I was reading through a fantastic feature on IGN (ign.com) about the announced slate of comic book films from both Marvel and DC and their status, there was an interesting quote from Kevin Feige (head of Marvel Studios) who while discussing the upcoming project for cult hero Iron Fist mentioned that while Marvel is pumping out these huge blockbusters they would also like to make smaller budget, second tier character movies to release in between the blockbusters (Iron Fist, Dr. Strange, Black Panther, etc.) which is a phenomenal idea. Many of the best characters are second tier but only comic book lovers have heard of them. It is with this statement and with the release of Captain America and The Avengers movies coming out that I want to put a bug in the ear of Mr. Feige and Marvel Studios. There is one small film that needs to get made and fits right in to The Avengers world: Nomad. The character of Jack Monroe who was Captain America’s sidekick at one time but eventually became a lone wanderer fighting local crime in the towns he wandered into, Nomad is one of the most interesting characters of all time. I even have a great idea for the perfect writer to adapt the screenplay: Mike Trigiani. Yup, that’s right Mr. Feige, I am officially applying for the job of staff writer for the screenplay of a Nomad movie. What have you got to lose? I own every appearance and issue of the Nomad series and I know the character as well as Joe Kirby or Stan Lee knows Spiderman. A little fresh blood would be good for the industry and I know you would be impressed with my vision. I will wait by my computer for an email of my contract (Don’t worry, I won’t be holding my breath). Oh, and not to worry because I have other pitches for competing studios including a movie based on the DC Comics Vigilante/Checkmate series for Warner Bros. and a G.I. Joe reboot for Paramount (another movie with a strong script and the completely wrong director making it a disaster). To answer your burning question, yes, I have given this way too much thought.
I have high hopes for the next couple of years in comic book films and will definitely be seeing Batman 3 (or 7 if you include ’89-’97), Spiderman 4 and Superman 6 (yup, this will be the 6th film) along with X-Men: First Class, Thor, Captain America, Green Lantern and The Avengers as I am again confident in the film makers attached to these projects. Just remember, when the Nomad film does get made if you don’t see my name in the credits you should avoid it altogether as it just won’t be up to par.