Ok so like forever ago I read a column by Chris D, (you can read it here) where he detailed which DC properties would make a decent film. Around the same time one of my Who’s Who in the DCU faithful JohnBritton asked me to ponder what DC properties I thought would make a splash on the big screen. So I got inspired. Not so inspired that I instantly wrote out a column that explained my ideas. I got inspired enough to give the topic some serious though, and jot down my ideas. Well those ideas have now grown up to be this column.
I present you with my rebuttal to Chris’s Words of Questionable Wisdom and Answer to JohnBritton’s Question.
Let me start by getting Starman off of my chest. Starman was actually being considered as a television show after the success of Smallville, but the plans fell through. Still, while I think the television approach is more suited to the story of Jack Knight, seeing Starman on the silver screen would be a dream come true.
â€œSins of the Fatherâ€ would make an excellent movie. The tale of how Jack comes to inheriting the mantel of Starman is a great one. And its translation onto the big screen wouldn’t be that difficult. Since there isn’t that much cosmic energy being tossed around, the special FX budget wouldn’t be that high. All that is really needed is some pyrotechnics and some wire work (for the climax above Opal.)
Now for the sake of clarity I’d add a few things. For instance while David is preparing for his final patrol, I’d use the scene from the Starman Secret Files where Jack is getting his tattoo. That way the viewers would get some insight on the Knight Family Tradition. It would make an excellent juxtaposition. It’s really a story about family, with some super heroics thrown in for good measure.
I think that another viable property would be Chase. The basic story would be that Chase’s unseen DEO boss sends her on case that requires her to traverse the DCU, at least the United States that is. While working her case that takes her to Opal, Gotham, Metropolis, etc, she would encounter various heroes and villains. These characters wouldn’t necessarily have to be involved in a battle. She could just be interviewing them, and the lack of the battle element would keep costs down. Now in my mind Jeannean Garafallo is Chase, so this would be a kind of lighthearted look at the DCU, through her eyes.
I think that the Creeper would make a great movie. Just imagine that costume, in Technicolor! Jack Ryder is an interesting character, in the right writer’s hands. The Creeper could be a huge success.
Now in my mind I would mix elements of the Vertigo miniseries â€œBeware the Creeper,â€ and the DCU character into a very compelling story. Part â€œThe Maskâ€ part â€œFight Clubâ€ part â€œSpidermanâ€, but all blockbuster. Again, all is need is some wire work for the spectacular fight scenes, and of course some money has to be spent on the costume.
My idea is to make Jack a little younger, have him intern with a gossip columnist for the local alternative weekly newspaper. The origin stays basically the same, but the story is about Jack trying to discover and conceal the fact that he could be the Creeper, that is plaguing the city. His boss wants to find out the outrageous Creeper’s identity for her column. The police want arrest the Creeper for his threat to public safety. And the public wants to praise their current flavor of the moment.
The JSA: Liberty Files would make a cool movie. A story about super spies during WWII, how could you not like that? It’s like three James Bonds only in the â€˜40’s. Or like three Indiana Jones’ but with more emphasis on cool weapons.
For the sake of clarity, I would have them in costume, because the public wouldn’t be able to wrap their head around the concept that Batman could have existed in the â€˜40’s. But if you just have characters named Bruce, Rex and Chuck, then there wouldn’t be as much confusion. Plus this would allow a comic book movie that could appeal to comic fans, without getting all bogged down with continuity. Hell we could even have Clooney put the cowl on again.
Another idea that could work is Eclipso, not so much as a villain but the concept of the black diamonds. In Bludhaven we see an all too familiar scene of a school kid getting picked on by bullies. He goes home and swears revenge. The next day we see Detective Jim Corrigan at the scene of yet another high school massacre. As he investigates the scene he is puzzled by the lack of spent ammunition. Witnesses say that the kid was being picked on and he just snapped, and killed everyone. But they also say that he was using medieval weaponry to kill. The killer is covered in blood, but has no recollection as to what occurred.
More killings occur. They are all preceded by events that cause the killers to become engulfed in rage. The crime scenes are bloodbaths and the murders have no recollection of the crimes. The police are at a loss to explain it. But Corrigan, a Mulder type cop, thinks that perhaps there are supernatural explanations.
Corrigan investigates the crimes and finds that they are linked by black diamonds. He then links the black diamonds to the Cult of the Eclipse. He deduces their plot and, with a little help from Bruce Gordon and Jason Blood, the Cult is defeated. They gather up the diamonds and put them store them in safe place. But as the film closes we see a kid pick up a stray black diamond that he finds on the street. A franchise is born.
You could also combine the Eclipso plot with the Chase plot. The thing about Eclipso is that it would make a great horror concept. People acting out their revenge fantasies, the whole â€œdarkness within.â€ The idea of wish fulfillment (even though it is minor fulfillment) would work great with the short sightedness of youth. Plus you wouldn’t really need too many special effects. Most of the crimes are just crime scenes after the fact. For the big battle at the end all you really need is some face paint to do the whole â€œeclipseâ€ thing.
So there you have it. These are all â€œcomic bookâ€ movies, yet they aren’t really big budget extravaganzas. They are medium budget movies that have the potential to be blockbusters. They are concepts wouldn’t be too tied into continuity, thus giving the filmmakers the freedom to be creative. But they are still some pretty recognizable characters with decent size fan bases. All of these movies could pull a â€œBladeâ€ and sneak in under the radar.
But honestly I don’t care. Marvel may have their â€œblockbusterâ€ movies. But what, you can watch those once, twice before they become old? I get two weekly doses of DC. Teen Titans and Justice League. And honestly those are as well put together as any Marvel movie (and in most cases better written too.) Well I’m sure you all have your own opinion on the subject or on my bungling of the subject. Holla!