With the incredible success of last years The Dark Knight and the highly disappointing reception for Superman Returns, Warner Bros. has recently announced that from now on their superhero movies will be darker and grittier in nature. This has quite a few comic fans upset because many of their favorite heroes arent from the “Dark and Brooding” school of superheroics that Batman is. Superman, The Flash, and Wonder Woman are all figures of hope whose deeds come not from tragedy and a desire for revenge, but from an honest, selfless urge to make the world a better place.
Now as a comic book fan I completely agree with these arguments, but as a poor writer trying to get his way through graduate school, I also see a way to make a buck, and in the end hunger wins out over integrity. So, Warner Bros., pay attention, because here are my top ten pitches for DC movies:
1. Green Arrow
The Character: Green Arrow (Oliver Queen) has long been considered the poor mans Batman with the Oedipal baggage replaced with a Robin Hood fetish. He roams the streets of Star City (or Seattle depending on your favorite version) using a longbow and an arsenal of trick arrows to fight crime. He becomes Green Arrow after he falls off his yacht in a drunken stupor, washing up on a deserted island where he crafts a makeshift bow with which he hunts. He comes across some drug dealers using the island as a secret cache and promptly takes them out. After that he makes his way back to the mainland and fights crime as a costumed adventurer.
My Pitch: Green Arrow is known for two things: being the worlds greatest archer and being the worlds greatest sex hound (the two go together surprisingly well). So what Warner needs to do is capitalize on all of that sex. Have Ollie sexing up every woman in sight. In fact, instead of falling off the yacht because hes drunk, in the movie hell fall overboard because hes having sex against a rail and the two fall into the drink. Ollie thinks shes been eaten by a shark or something then goes on with his life.
Anyway, when he starts his career as Green Arrow all of the villains he fights are women, and he uses his “seduction arrow” loaded with hog hormones to make them all fall in love with him. Then he promptly screws them then goes off to his next adventure. His ultimate villain is (gasp!) the girl who fell off the yacht with him. Shes pretty miffed about that and so decides to ruin his life. In order to exact her revenge she has special surgery on her vocal chords to make it so she has sonic shrieks and calls herself “Screaming Mimi.” The two fight it out for a while before realizing that theyre in love and she becomes (double gasp!) Black Canary! The two unite to fight evil and have lots of sex, but at the end of the movie she gets killed by an arrow fired by some unknown assailant, which is where the sequel will pick up. Oh, and there should be tons of gay jokes about his last name being “Queen.” Thatll get in the kids for sure.
2. The Atom
The Character: Ray Palmer is a physicist who discovers how to change his size and density. He uses this ability and his astounding intellect to aid the Justice League as The Atom!
My Pitch: Im thinking CSI with this one. You know how in CSI they always do that shot where it looks like the cameraman is shoving the camera straight into a guys stomach or through some girls arteries? Well instead of just having a camera, now we have The Atom to do that for us. He uses his technology as the ultimate CSI investigator, able to find the tiniest particles left by killers like skin flakes, and, I dont know, tooth enamel. This would require some research on my part, but Im totally up for it!
So, in the movie The Atom is checking out the corpse of a female midget who had been brutally tortured, sexually violated, then murdered. During his investigation he discovers a microscopic piece of paper with the letter “R” inscribed on it lodged in one of her blood vessels. But thats just the beginning! Another midget gets killed in the exact same way and again The Atom finds a microscopic piece of paper, only this time with the letter “O” inscribed. This leads him on a collision course with a deep, dark secret from his past. Spoiler alert! It has to do with his circus-owner father, a midget, and an evil twin!
The Character: Barry Allen is a forensic scientist for the Central City police department (do I see a crossover between him and The Atom?) when one day he gets hit by lightning while standing next to a rack of chemicals. The lightning and the chemicals interact to boost his metabolism to superhuman levels turning him into the fastest man aliveâ€”The Flash!
My Pitch: While that whole chemical/lightning jazz may have worked back in the fifties, modern audiences need something more plausible. So in this movie Barry gets his powers from a new methamphetamine called Super Speed. He doesnt start up by choice, of course, because we dont need a superhero who chooses to be a drug addictâ€”thats so Alan Mooreâ€”instead he needs to be kidnapped by members of an evil organization which has been taking transients from off the street in order to test their new drug. Barry gets the only batch of Super Speed, and boom! he gains super speed! He breaks out and races his way home. Of course, since hes moving at such incredible velocities the friction from wind resistance tears away his clothes giving us a tasteful view of his butt. That way we can get the girlfriends into the theaters.
Anyway, after escaping, Barry feels great for a couple of days until the drug works its way out of his system. He crashes hard and devises a scheme to get more drugs: hell dress up like a homeless person and let himself get captured again. After he gets captured he ransacks the corporation looking for more Super Speed. He finds some, injects himself, then escapes. Later on in the movie Barry has a moment when he sees himself in the mirror injecting more Super Speed. Hes disgusted with what he sees and decides to use his newfound power in order to help those homeless people. He steals a red and yellow bodysuit from a surfing store and becomes: The Flash!
This all works out well for him for a bit until he encounters another speedster: the doctor who created Super Speedâ€”Professor Zoom! Zoom has perfected his formula (now called Super Super Speed) and is faster than Barry. The two fight it out all over Central City until Barry manages to inject Zoom with an overdose of Super Super Speed and the Professor literally vibrates himself to pieces.
4. Green Lantern
The Character: Hal Jordan is a daredevil test pilot for Ferris Air. He gets recruited by the Guardians of the Universe into the Green Lantern Corps, a policing body dedicated to bringing order to the Universe. Armed with a ring which can literally create anything he wishes as long as his willpower is strong enough, Hal Jordan protects Earth and the surrounding sector of space as The Green Lantern!
My Pitch: Jordan just lost his job at Ferris by being too awesome during one of his test flights and wrecking a plane. He goes out into the desert to get drunk and contemplate his next move when the ring of Abin Sur, the Green Lantern of his sector, finds and brings Hal to its dying master. Abin bequeaths his ring to Jordan, which immediately whisks the fighter pilot off to the Guardians homeworld, Oa. Unfortunately, Hal is only the second human to ever wear a power ring and faces a lot of speciesim. He gets beat up regularly, his stuff either gets stolen or trashed, and his instructor, Kilowogg, routinely shames him in front of the other recruits kind of like R. Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket. One day the worst of Hals tormentorsâ€”the hotshot Green Lantern Sinestroâ€”is about to beat the ever living snot out of Jordan when hes stopped by the only other human Green Lantern, John Stewart.
Stewart grudgingly takes Jordan under his wing, but hes a gruff, tough, angry black man like most characters played by Samuel L. Jackson (note: do you think we could get him for the part?), but underneath all that hes a sweetheart. The two bond over a training montage and end up having some space beer in a space bar (everything needs to be called space to make sure the audience knows that Jordans not on earth. If he eats an apple, its a space apple. If he wears pajamas, theyre space pajamas, etc.).
Unfortunately, it turns out that Sinestros on the take from the space mob known as the Manhunters. Stewart finds this out and is killed in a kick-ass space battle and its up to Jordan to revenge him. The space mob tries to stop Jordan by holding Earth hostage (spoiler alert! Lots of monuments get blown the hell up), but Jordans no longer playing by the rules, and he takes out like twenty star destroyers and ends up destroying half the moon and all of Venus in his final battle with Sinestro.
5. Captain Marvel
The Character: Billy Batson is an orphan living on the streets. He follows a wizened old man into a subway and learns that hes a powerful sorcerer. The wizard teaches Batson the magic word “Shazam!” which turns him into Earths mightiest mortal: Captain Marvel, who has the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury.
My Pitch: Im thinking something along the line of Sleepers here. Batsons an orphan who gets into trouble with the law and gets sent to a juvenile detention center. Because hes small for his age he gets picked on by the other boys, and at night he gets visited by the night guard. The center is run by the evil psychologist Dr. Sivana, who we later learn is using the boys in his Nazi-esque experiments trying to find the elixir of immortality.
The only boy in the place who doesnt pick on Billy is the foreign kid, Nabu. He gets it even worse than Batson because hes Middle-Eastern. He gets shanked in cafeteria with a sharpened spork by a kid who screams “This is for 9/11!” Billys the only one who tries to help him, and for his kindness Nabu tells him the secret word of power which was his familys duty to protect for thousands of years.
That night Billy says the word for the first time. Lightning hits the wall of his cell and transforms him into Captain Marvel. Billy flies out and finds the guard who had been visiting him at night and tears him apart like a phone book. Hes about to go off and vent more of his frustration when the wisdom of Solomon tells him to stop. In this case what he sees is an old man haloed in blue light kind of like Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the vision tells him he must go back free the other kids from the evil Dr. Sivana.
Billy flies back to the center, but instead of kids he meets an army of monstrously strong, deformed mutants who fight him while Sivana undertakes his last experiment. Billy eventually tears through the army of mutants and is covered in gore by the time he reaches the laboratory. Unfortunately, hes too late and the doctor drinks the elixir of immortality right before his eyes, turning him into a Apollonian, golden haired god. The two fight, but since Sivana is now immortal, Billy cant kill him. Eventually though, through the wisdom of Solomon, Billy tears Sivan into six separate pieces and scatters the body parts across the globe.
This may work best as a rock opera.
And thats it for my pitches. I have a few more ideas, but you dont want to give these Hollywood types too much up front. God knows theyre a bunch of thieves and liars. Still, I expect to get a call from Warner Bros. any day now.
Tags: Captain Marvel, DC Comics, Green Arrow, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Superman Returns, The Atom, The Dark Knight, The Lounge List, Warner Bros.