Student Life: When comics become movies

Books, books, books. Your life is about to become a written work pulped overload. Therefore get back to basics with nice pictures of everyday avengers beating the shit out of each other.

Feature by Neil D. Walker | 10 Sep 2008
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Now it’s even easier to apply the cape to your life as Hollywood film studios are currently in feverish cahoots with the major comic houses Marvel and DC to sign up what’s left of their back catalogues of superheroes and legends – ready to take them from inked page to the big screen. The massive success of the Batman reworks finally turning geek into un-chartered chic. Movie execs clamber for the hyper-drive button labelled “Comic Book Movie Mill”. Here’s a sneaky peak at a few of the most anticipated in the coming year or so…


Watchmen will be an interesting release next year within the superhero genre. Largely unknown to the general population Watchmen is the ultimate for many comic book purists. Penned in 1986 by comic legend Alan Moore - famed for his gritty, adult and highly complex storylines such as V for Vendetta, From Hell and 300 - all of which have already been made into movies with varying degrees of success. Directed by 300 director Zack Snyder the film involves a group of superheroes (none of which are household names and are specific to this one off series of comics) investigating the death of a former hero. Their rummaging leads to an intricate conspiracy set in an age of bleak times, corrupt presidents and heightened cold-war tensions with Russia (sound familiar anyone??). Many fans hold this classic of classic comic books very close to their hearts with some having written it off already as being far too complex to bring to mainstream cinema. Indeed the scripting process has proven to be problematic from its first production stages nearly thirty years ago! Amid accusations of script ownership and rights Twentieth Century Fox has even sued fellow studio Warner Bros. Just give us the movie damn-it!


We liked the title credits of the last movie Superman Returns, but only because the theme tune filled us with nostalgic glee. From then on it went a bit Clark Kent – awkward and quite frankly a bore. And so, with the world still applauding the efforts of Ledger's bleak and troubled portrayal of the Joker in Batman, Warner Brothers has announced a “reboot” of Superman. The movie studio plans to move on as if the last movie never happened and look to create a darker, more broodier Superman. Rumours are flying that Glasgow-based Mark Millar may have a hand in its production after his recent success of his graphic novel turned hit movie Wanted. One thing’s for sure, people will have high expectations this time around and this movie will certainly test the mettle of the man of steel’s franchise.


He’s the most popular character from the X-men legacy (both movie and comic book) and now he is to get his own movie based around his beginnings. The comic book scene has been touting ‘origins’ as a money-spinning theme for decades now as readers are consistently fascinated by stories of how heroes became, er, super. The end of X-men 2 gives us glimpses into Wolverine's past (Logan tracks down the crumbling military base that was the scene of experiments on his body; lacing his skeleton with virtually indestructible adamantium metal), and we have also seen leaked trailer shows with Wolverine swinging his claws at arch-enemies Sabertooth, Gambit and The Blob. Again, this looks to be a movie with a darker feel to it as Wolverine wrestles with his past and grapples with his foes. Out early 2009.


Bring out the quiff! For many, many years now Steven Spielberg has mused within various interviews that he would like to turn Herge's Adventures of Tintin into a major motion picture. It seems that this will not happen. He will in fact turn three of the ever popular comic books into three features collaborating with Lord of the Rings chief hobbit, ahem, director - Peter Jackson. The first movie will be based on Tintin and the Adventures of the Unicorn and Red Rackham’s Treasure. Captain Haddock looks set to be played by Andy Serkis (best known for Gollum in Lord of the Rings) while the main role of Tintin could yeild Love Actually’s young Brit Thomas Sangster. “Blisterin’ Barnacles pass me the brylcream!!”