Thursday, April 22, 2010

Marvel Movies Make The Move To Pulp

Part of the pulp aesthetic is to be creative on a regular schedule no matter what. As my good friends in television say, "production waits for no man,"  and the same has always been true for pulp fiction magazines.

 So it was with great interest that I read this piece on CHUD:

Where does Marvel go after getting bigger than any other superhero movie when they release The Avengers? They rein it in and get smaller.

Marvel Studios is currently taking meetings with writers and directors to work on small scale movies based on some of their third tier characters. The movies would cost in the range of 20 to 40 million dollars (very small when we're talking studio films) and would allow them to take risks with less obvious characters and with interesting talent.

Filmmakers are being offered their pick of characters whose names are only familiar to comic fans. Properties like Dr. Strange, Ka-Zar, Luke Cage, Dazzler and Power Pack are among the many that are being tossed around right now. And the attitude seems to be that Marvel is open to bringing any of their characters to the screen at the right price point.

Yes, you read that right, true believer - Marvel has decided to make smaller movies, but more of them.  Less risk, bigger library of content, more development in their tier of lesser-known characters, chances to find new audiences for the marvel Brand.


This initiative is going to allow Marvel (and new owner Disney) to get more of their brands out into the public eye, and it will allow them to continue building their cinematic universe in intriguing ways. It could also mean that up and coming filmmakers or less mainstream directors could suddenly have the chance to play in the big Marvel sandbox. While Warner Bros is still just reving the engine of their DC Superhero movies, Marvel seems to have a plan that's going to allow them to keep their characters at the forefront.

 So let's go back to the topic we've discussed before...

You have $20M to make a Marvel movie.

  • Which character? 
  • Why? (What's different about this character that makes you want that movie made?) 

And for bonus points:

Who stars in it? (and remember this can't be an A-lister starring movie.  Think people from indie movies and TV. Someone you can afford, but who really kicks ass at their job. )

This is my choice... MORBIUS THE LIVING VAMPIRE!


Chris said...

I'd love to see Morbius on screen. I'd also love to see something with Kazar in the Savage Land, but the budget probably wouldn't be enough if you wanted to have dinosaurs and things.

However, a gritty Black Panther movie with Michael Jai fucking White in the lead role? That would be awesome.

Chad Carter said...

20 Mil, minor actors:

There's dozens of "B-List" DC properties I'd be on, like the World War 2 Losers, Suicide Squad, GI Robot, the Demon, and so on.

Coming out of Marvel, I think I'd do a HELLSTROM: SON OF SATAN movie. For one thing, every SOS story is an exorcism story. Those things are huge at the box office. Damien Hellstrom is also one of the easier heroes to costume, considering it's mostly a cape and trident. I guess capes are passe so you could roll with an open trenchcoat or vest, long as the pentagram on Hellstrom's chest is shown off. Main effects are devil-flame from the trident and creep effects of the possessed. Go Val Lewton on the demons. I think this movie could/should be vastly different from GHOST RIDER, as Hellstrom's hell-born savagery makes him the Sub-Mariner of the exorcism set. He's almost as much villain as the monsters he's fighting, at times.

Actor for Hellstrom? Sadly, hard to come by these days. One dude who interests me is Luke Goss, who has been brilliant in BLADE 2 and HELLBOY 2. Don't know if he qualifies as small-time, tho!

Cunningham said...

If I had a crack at the DC 2nd tier of heroes it would probably go like this:

and yes, GI ROBOT could be cool.


@Chris - I don't know, there's a lot of "off the shelf" Dinosaur CGI out there. If The Asylum can do it then so can a $20M film. You just have to use it correctly.

Black Panther in Paris and give the money to the guys who made the Green Hornet short film from a couple of years back.

Jon Molly said...

She-Hulk! We've seen a rom-com/zombie flick. Why not a rom-com superhero flick? I suspect that if you marketed it right, you might even be able to draw more females into the Marvel fan base. But mostly because I've got the hots for She-Hulk.

Doctor Strange is my first choice, though. He's one of the most powerful characters in the universe, he's already been referenced in the movies, and you could do his hocus-pocus stuff on a limited budget since it's so far out there.

Christian Lindke said...

DC 2nd stringers who NEED movies:

Blue Beetle
Doctor Fate
Unknown Soldier
Vigilante -- Adrian Chase

I would be particularly interested in seeing a movie made around the Adrian Chase vigilante. Given the dark road that series took, vigilatism=death (both for criminals and self), I think you could get some great drama out of it.

As for MARVEL:

Moon Knight
Black Panther -- my favorite Avenger
The Defenders -- with Valkyrie and Gargoyle
The Vision
The Guardians of the Galaxy -- but that would need a sizable budget
Werewolf by Night


KANG! in his own movie.