It’s been a rather busy week for franchise filmmaking, huh? That’s of course a statement that I could throw out at any point in the year and still be proven completely true, but more so than usual, I really felt the brunt of big comic book franchises on the future of film and TV. I for one welcome our new comic book property overlords though…for the most part, at least.
But let’s start with the “woo!” before going into the “meh”: FXX is making a Deadpool animated series. On the surface this wouldn’t be anything to get top jazzed about (Deadpool is the most profitable property Fox has had in at least a decade, so of course they are going to exploit it for all its worth), but the real key here is who is involved: Donald Glover, who is white-hot coming off his own FX series Atlanta. Best of all, Glover’s role isn’t just going to be “executive producer” or some other such vanity position: alongside his brother Stephen (who also did great work on Atlanta), the pair will be showrunning the entire series, and their fantastic sense of humor is something I definitely want to see imprinted on to the Deadpool character. If it will reach to the absurdist heights of Atlanta’s best episode (“B.A.N.”, naturally), then I think this is one very much worth looking forward to.
Now the only question is who the show will get to play their take on the Merc with A Mouth. Will Ryan Reynolds slum it up on a lower-tier cable channel if it means still playing the character he loves so much? Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised. If not though, the show always has Nolan North. WE ALL HAVE NOLAN NORTH.
Onto lesser but still somewhat exciting news, today has brought us word of a new Jude Dredd project. And before you ask, no, it’s not a movie sequel to Dredd that we’re all salivating for…maybe. Because the best thing about Judge Dredd: Mega City One is how loose its current development is. Other than the producers involved (Mark Stern, Stuart Ford, Jason Kingsley, and Chris Kingsley), there’s not much known about what this series is tackling. So if these producers had any brains whatsoever, they would just make it a sequel to Dredd anyways — it’s not like anything in the first film wouldn’t fit into a grander universe, and the movie was so self-contained that they could still have free reign to do whatever the hell they wanted to do in an actual series. Basically what I’m saying is this: there’s no reason you CAN’T have Karl Urban back as Dredd. So heed the word of LaBeouf, and just do it. For just the slim possibility of Urban’s involvement alone, I’m interested in the future of this project.
But wanna know a project I’m 100% sure WON’T be featuring the former lead of the series? The Hellboy reboot, which has found itself a brand new star, a brand new director, a brand new set of writers, and a brand new production company. Not bad for a project that, three days ago, we had no idea even existed. And the people involved aren’t all bad either: attached to direct is Neil Marshall, the crazy talented man behind some of Game of Thrones’ all-time best episodes (“Blackwater” and “The Watchers on the Wall”). And starring as the titular character is David Harbour, fresh off of his star-making performance as Chief Hooper in Stranger Things. Both of those guys are great, honestly, and in any other situation, would have me excited for the actual movie.
But in light of the cancellation of Hellboy 3, I’m just not ready for this thing yet. That film’s collapse in pre-production is rather sad, and to know that Guillermo del Toro was so close to making that film a reality hurts a lot. And though Mignola (as the creator of the character) is totally in his rights to shop the property somewhere else…so soon after Hellboy 3 withered on the vine? As someone who really wanted to see the conclusion of Del Toro’s vision for the character, it stings. A lot. With the people involved, there will probably be a time where I can get excited for this project. But at this point in time? #NotMyHellboy, man. Not my Hellboy.
But the animated Deadpool series? I’ll claim that one, anyday.
Also published on Medium.