Development Deal: Deltron 3030
If there’s one thing that a quick look at the current state of television and movies will tell you, it’s that there’s not much need for original ideas when there’s so much out there ready and waiting to be adapted, updated or just outright ripped off. That’s why we’ve decided to help in that process with a series that offers up some of the things we’d like to see being brought to big screen or small. This week’s suggestion? The fantabulous Deltron 3030.
What is It?
A concept album from the year 2000 by Del Tha Funkee Homosapien and Dan the Automator, with cameos from the likes of Kid Koala, Damon Albarn and Money Mark, among many others. The idea behind the album is that Del is “Deltron Zero,” a hacker-turned-soldier in the year 3030 who, disillusioned with The Way Things Are struggles to rise up as Galactic Rhyme Federation Champion, while also plotting the downfall of the Powers That Be. Sampling Battlestar Galactica, The Black Hole and Airplane! as well as earlier Del tracks, the album is ridiculously immersive and enjoyable as a narrative, as well as being something that’s great to listen to and appreciate on a musical level.
What Could It Be?
Quite simply, the greatest science fiction musical of all time.
The SF of Deltron 3030 is a mash-up of all manner of influences to create something that’s at once familiar and dizzyingly new, contemporary where it counts but futuristic in the right ways; translating that into a movie would take some skill – the visuals would have to be a similar mix of the familiar and the new, of the “now” and the “yet to come,” and I imagine it looking like some mix of Speed Racer, Scott Pilgrim Versus The World and Jack Kirby’s 1970s comics – and, yet, if done properly, the results would be amazing.
There’s a history of rock operas being turned into movies – the Who, famously, did both Tommy and Quadrophenia, and Pink Floyd did The Wall – but it feels like something that’s fallen off in recent years; Green Day’s American Idiot was turned into a Broadway musical, sure, but that’s hardly the same thing. A Deltron movie could be the kind of thing to kickstart a revival of the genre while also bringing it up to date – Well, 12 years closer to up-to-date, anyway – and giving the sci-fi genre something new to play with, as well.
Del, obviously, would have to star in the title role. In terms of directors, I’d go for someone who’s proven in music videos and stylish (if somewhat vapid) science fiction: Tron Legacy‘s Joseph Kosinski. More importantly, though, would be the concept designers enlisted for the project. For that, let’s see some comic book artists brought on: Dave Johnson, perhaps, or Ladronn. Brandon Graham, too. Try to actually get a real comic book aesthetic going, instead of just mining the comics for material and then grounding them in a deeper, duller reality; attempt a purposefully surreal pop look to match the music.
The result may not be something that would break the box office in half – It might be broken by the box office, in fact – but as a movie that blew minds and inspired people for generations to come? Yeah, I can see a well-done Deltron film doing that. Who wants to make it happen?