Development Deal: Adam Strange
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? Adam Strange.
What Is It?
A DC Comics character/comic strip from the late 1950s created by the men behind Justice League of America (Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky), Adam Strange is a recasting of John Carter of Mars in many respects: A regular man (in this case, an archaeologist)who finds himself transported against his will – and outside of his control – to an alien planet where he becomes a hero, Strange benefits from a particularly mid-20th Century idea of science fiction (Jetpacks! Rayguns!) and – unlike Carter – a romance thwarted by the hero’s constant inability to control what planet he’s going to be on at any time.
What Could It Be?
If you strip the concept back to the very basics, there’s a lot to be made out of Adam Strange; A romance constantly thwarted by fate, grand heroics, all wrapped up in an over-arcing idea of an everyday schlub who finds hidden depths (and strengths) when freed from the demands of his everyday life. Played right, it’s Raiders of The Lost Ark in space. With rayguns and jetpacks. Seriously, what’s not to like about that?
The “played right” part, I suspect, would be key. What doomed John Carter at the box office wasn’t the mythology as much as the tone of the movie and, depending on where you stand on Friday Night Lights, Taylor Kitsch’s seeming inability to be embraced by audiences as a leading man (See also Battleship); what something like Carter and Adam Strange needs is a take that places entertainment and knowing spectacle ahead of everything else, something that, like Raiders or Star Wars, has such an emphasis on “fun” that it’s not above winking at the audience every now and again, but without devolving into Men in Black-style broad comedy. Something exciting, with real stakes, but also just this side of ridiculous.
Because I know that he’s got the chops to play this kind of role in him, I’d put John Krasinski in the lead role, and grab Minka Kelly to play love interest Alanna, purely because the mention of FNL put her into my mind again. When it comes to writers/directors, I’m thinking of the derring-do with tongue-in-cheek sincerity of the best Doctor Who when I suggest Mark Gatiss as screenwriter and Toby Haynes – he of “The Pandorica Opens,” “The Big Bang,” “A Christmas Carol,” “The Impossible Astronaut” and “Day of The Moon,” as well as Sherlock‘s “The Reichenbach Fall” – as director.
Hey, Warner Bros. You want to take your DC properties in a direction that’s not entirely linked to Justice League…? Why not try something like this, just for fun?