From comic book to Film: Coming to a screen near you!
By Patrick C Oliver
October 5, 2007 - 17:18
The anticipation for the next batch of comic book adaptations is high. You are probably already aware that big screen comic book adaptations can be big business for major and independent film studios alike.
With many of the past adaptations capturing the essence of their subjects and sometimes dazzling us with their visual interpretation on the silver screen, many will be wondering if the next wave of films will match or surpass what has gone before.
The following are some of the films that you can expect to hear a lot about in the coming months and years.
Don’t forget the popcorn.
In 30 Days of Night (19 October 2007), a small Alaskan town is plunged into darkness for a month, just as a group of vampires arrive. The townspeoples' survival falls squarely at the feet of the husband and wife sheriff team, played by Josh Hartnett and Melissa George. If it is anything like the comic book (and judging by the trailer, it is), this one won’t be for the faint hearted!
The release of the teaser trailer for Iron man (May 2008) has definitely whetted the appetite of many a fan. It seems to portray a pretty faithful and realistic adaptation of character. Time will tell whether this tale of a troubled industrialist who becomes a superhero will deliver the goods, but initial shots look highly promising.
The release date for the soldier and head of S.H.E.L.D, Nick Fury, is currently in 2008. With the recent success of the Bourne films and revival of the Bond franchise, there is definitely room for another highly accomplished spy on the espionage landscape.
The sequel to the Hulk is in the works with a summer 2008 release date, and has a radiation powered villain in the shape of The Abomination, played by Tim Roth. Edward Norton takes over the reigns from Eric Bana in The Incredible Hulk, and William Hurt and Liv Tyler are also attached to the project.
Ant-Man (2008) is also in the works, chronicling the adventures of scientist Dr Henry Pym. It has Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead & Hot Fuzz) attached as co-writer and director. This could be very good indeed.
Hellboy 2: The Golden Army, follows the team in a fight against the mythical world, who are intent on trying to rule the Earth. It is due in August 2008.
Morgan freeman, Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy and Terence stamp are among the cast of Wanted. Wanted (April 2008) is the story of a young man who finds out that his father was not only an assassin, but was also murdered. He is drafted in to take his fathers place. They may have to tone this one down for the cinema…
The Darknight (July 2008) will be looking to build on the solid foundations put down by Batman Returns. With most of the cast returning, with some notable additions and absences, this film promises the emergence of the Joker, known to many a person as a thorn in the side of Gotham City and The Batman. It should be interesting to see how the character is handled.
Kate Beckinsale takes the lead role in an otherwise ensemble cast, in Whiteout, originally created by greg Rucka (2008). Set in the Antarctic, Beckinsale plays a U.S. Marshall investigating a murder on a less than friendly base. The task becomes even more difficult with the onset of a storm and the fact that it will soon be dark for six months. (Gabriel Macht who has a role in this film, will be the lead in The Spirit)
Sin City II co-directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller will have a dual storyline. One is a sort of prequel to Sin City, as it tells the story of the character Dwight, before he got his ‘New face’; it is a tale of deceit and revenge. The other shows us Nancy (the dancer in the first film) who is grieving the death of Detective Hartigan, the man who saved her from a murderous kidnapper as a child.
What’s another year between friends?
Work on Will Eisner’s The Spirit (January 2009) is gathering pace, with a host of stars (Freeman, Mendes, Johansson) attached to the project and comic book giant, Frank Miller directing. Gabriel Macht plays the role of the rookie policeman who dies, and comes back as a spirit fighting against the bad forces at large Central City.
James Cameron brings his formidable presence to the computer generated (and possibly 3D) adaptation of the Manga inspired, Battle Angel (June 2009). This was previously released as an anime film in the early 1990’s (as Gunnm) to some acclaim largely due to it’s highly impressive visuals. This modern version could prove to be just as spectacular.
Captain America (July 2009) looks to be going into development; it should be interesting to see how they treat the character and if they decide to use any number of strong plot-lines from the comic book.
The world is in peril when Bonesaw (2009) and other demonic characters from a woman's hit fantasy horror novels look set to actually enter reality. This will be computer generated film, so it will be interesting to see what animation technique they adopt. It should be visually impressive.
David S Goyer helms Magneto (2009), which looks into the early life of the title character and his friendship with Charles Xavier.
Wonder Woman (2009) was recently a project helmed by TV wunderkind Josh
Whedon, who made an assured move into films with ‘Serenity’. Whedons’
undoubted talent at writing strong characterisations, flowing narrative
and witty intelligent screenplays made him a favourite with many people
as far as this film project was concerned. Unfortunately, Whedon has
since left the project citing ‘creative differences’ as the main
problem. The project is still slated for a 2009 release.
Will Loki be causing any mischief in Thor, in which a partially disabled medical student Dr. Donald Blake discovers that he has a previously unknown alter ego, the Norse god of the title? (2009) Matthew Vaughn has the director’s chair on this one.
We are treated to a peek at Wolverine’s life prior to joining The X-Men in the upcoming self-titled movie (2009). We will see the reason for his hatred of victor Creed (the mutant, Sabretooth) and also some of the ‘Weapon X’
programme. If they get this right, it could be very cool indeed.
‘Shazam’ (2009) is the magical word uttered to bring on the transformation into Captain Marvel (the D.C version). It actually stands for the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and speed of Mercury. Billy Batson is the young boy who is the current holder of the power of S.H.A.Z.A.M. In the comics, there is a Shazam family of sorts, and several super-powered villains.
This is either going to be a huge success, spawning several sequels, be a brave but flawed attempt, or, just all go horribly wrong……we all hope that it is the former.
Possibly the most eagerly awaited adaptation is that of The Watchmen
(2009) series, which is considered by many to be a landmark work by
Moore. Previously thought unfilmable (it may yet prove to be) Zack
Snyder (300) has been tasked with bringing this fan favourite to the
big screen. Watchman is set in a mid-eighties alternative America,
where costumed heroes are real and nuclear war with the Soviet Union is
becoming an ever more real threat. It deals with some hard issues.
Snyder has mentioned his desire to stay as close to the source material
as possible. And with most of his cast having been brought together,
and comic book artists Adam Hughes and John Cassaday on board, people
have a right to be both excited and anxious.
To infinity and beyond!
The highly accomplished director George Miller is overseeing the Justice League of America (2010) film from its developmental stages to its eventual release. The film may well tell the story of some of the best loved comic book heroes and heroines from the D.C comics universe, banding together to form a formidable group of superheroes.
A creator who could eventually challenge the current Moore/Miller duopoly is Warren Ellis. Ellis is a prolific creator of comic books, graphic novels and novels alike and would provide a rich and varied canon of work from which to mine material. His graphic novel ‘Ocean’ (2010) has been optioned by part of the successful team responsible for the adaptation of ‘300’.
‘Ocean’, described as an ‘alien thriller’, casts a sinister light on the history of mankind, when disturbing signs of intelligent life are found on Jupiter's ice-covered moon Europa.
A film featuring the bounty hunting anti-hero, Jonah Hex (2010) is currently in development. If the current craze for westerns sows the seeds of interest in the genre; this film could well reap the benefits.
Frank Miller’s Ronin (a master less samurai) is a tale of honour and revenge, an ancient curse, demons, a decaying society and futuristic technology, is currently in development.
Patience is a virtue, so they say.....
So, as you can see there are quite a few films coming, and plenty to be excited about. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait!
Last Updated: September 6, 2021 - 08:15