So many comics. So many options. So many stories about comics being optioned — but only a handful will ever be turned into films. Yet, with the average comic book movie doing fairly well in Hollywood, quite a few of them seem to get made. We report on all the option news from the trades here, but then years go by with nary a peep. We thought we’d dig a bit into some of the “rest of the story” here. We welcome any scooper or spy reports on further doings.
• WHITEOUT: the story of a female US Marshall investigating a murder at the Antarctic was a comics hit for writer Greg Rucka and artist Steve Leiber, but what of the film, which has been in the works since at least 2002? A recent story on Joel Silver’s Dark Castle productions revealed that its first film would be WHITEOUT, and our own sources tell us that shooting is underway at a frigid location. Director and star are unknown, although Reese Witherspoon was attached at one time. Anyone who knows more about this want to spill the beans?
• THE LOSERS: a recent LA Times story on director Peter Berg revealed the THE LOSERS, an adaptation of the Andy Diggle/Jock comic, hasn’t fared so well, and even led to fisticuffs among the creative team:
A few months ago, the two friends were working on “The Losers,” a military thriller adapted from a comic book, when they got into a shouting match over how to approach the studio on casting. (Goldsman is a producer, Berg is the director.) The scene no doubt had great dialogue but, surprisingly, given the writers involved, it was short on action. The disagreement never became volatile enough for them to use their fists for anything other than holding coffee mugs.
“We absolutely went at it in a meeting,” Goldsman says now, with obvious amusement. “Although it was rumored that we were going to come to blows, I don’t know if you’ve ever met Pete Berg, but I would last about one blow.” Ten minutes after the flare-up, Berg, who played a reluctant boxer in 1996’s “The Great White Hype,” and Goldsman were laughing it off. Berg then went off with James Vanderbilt (“Basic”) to rework “The Losers” script, and the rewrite was strong enough for Warner Bros. to want to move into production. Until Goldsman lured Berg away to direct “Tonight, He Comes” instead. (“The Losers” is now looking for a new director, and Berg has moved into a producing role.)
The piece also has more info on TONIGHT, HE COMES, which could set off the dark-and-gritty era of superhero movies: “Tonight, He Comes” will star Will Smith as a conflicted, self-destructive superhero who finds himself embroiled in an affair with a married woman.” Whee!
• WANTED: Mark Millar and JG Jones’ tale of a second generation super villain has been announced with director Timur Bekmambetov and star James McAvoy. Morgan Freeman has just joined the cast. More interesting is a story synposis of the film somewhat different from Millar’s original, and Millar’s reaction to the same. Graeme had the whole affair a few weeks ago at Blog@Newwsarama. Millar reacted to the changes at Millarworld:
The Mythological Fates bit worries me. But I also have huge confidence in the director and all the casting (some of which you haven’t heard yet) has been spectacular. So fingers crossed this is as good as it looks.
One thing you WON’T see me doing is bitching. JG and I own this and had the right to keep it from ever being a movie, but we decided to take the plunge and hope for the best. They paid us well and we can only hope they do a good job. Like I said, I’m hopeful. Even if it’s nothing like the book in the end (I have no idea), The Shining was nothing like the book and was still great. I wish them nothing but the best.
• In other news, Salma Hayek has NOT joined the cast of a movie based on Gilbert Hernandez’ LUBA, which is sad, because if she did we could post more pictures like this.