It seems that every year more and more comic books and graphic novels are making the passage from the page to the big screen. Hollywood has cottoned on that not only are these art forms quite often full of great stories but they come complete with an already made fan base who will flock to the silver screen to see their heroes brought to life.
It is with this passion in mind that Ive pulled together a list of forthcoming (and in one case now out) movies that originated in a comic book or graphic novel.
Punisher: War Zone
The only film in this entire listing that is now available for viewing (it was only released here in the UK on Friday); its safe to say that unless youre a die-hard fan then you are probably going to be okay about missing this. It isnt to say that Ray Stevenson does a bad job at being Frank Castle or that jigsaw doesnt look cool, but the action is fairly derivative and to be honest I preferred Thomas Janes outing as the man with the black t-shirt featuring the white skull motif.
Date: 6 March 2009
Arguably one of the most eagerly awaited titles for all geeks this year, Watchmen brings to the big screen a graphic novel featuring an epic story, flawed characters, moral dilemmas and superheroes without powers. The story is set in the 1980s and the Doomsday Clock is set to 5 minutes to midnight, so tensions are running high between the US and the USSR. Rorschach (a masked vigilante) investigates the murder of hero, only to discover the plot gets much thicker.
Alan Moores graphic novel of the same name should provide excellent material but my top tip for this one is to read it in its original form before going to see the film. Whilst Moore wont have anything to do with the movie adaptation, Im fairly certain that everything weve seen so far is showing that this is going to be quite faithful in look and feel but perhaps most importantly will offer a lot even for those who dont know of the graphic novel.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Date: 1 May 2009
Wolverine proved very quickly to be one of the most popular characters following the screen adaptation of the X-men comic book, so it should be no surprise that his movie comes out first. Hugh Jackman reprises his role as the eponymous character, meanwhile we see a host of other characters appear from the Marvel/X-Men universe including Deadpool, Sabretooth (Liev Schriber), Silver Fox, Gambit, The Blob and more. Should you be excited? Oh yes, the action looks great and Im expecting big things after the frankly poor X-Men: The Last Stand
Date: 16 July 2010
Im a bit baffled why Kenneth Branagh is going to be directing Thor, but there we are. The plot is apparently going to feature Dr Donald Blake a disabled physician who has an alter ego inside of him none other than The Mighty Thor! For me, this one could go either way. Im hoping that it isnt too far out there, but as it is quite a while away I didnt find too much info out on it. More info as it comes but I’ve heard a range of names mentioned for the role of Thor, including wrestler Triple H!
Sin City 2
Unfortunately still listed in preproduction (so whether it will make 2010 is debateable) but the best received graphic novel to hit the big screen barring 300 was Sin City. Should the sequel live up to the original then this should definitely be a film on your list. This title is also known as A Dame To Kill For and covers the story of the same name along with an unshelved Nancy Story and some short stories. It will return with the same look and feel and no doubt excellent action set pieces. Definitely one to see.
The First Avenger: Captain America
After being deemed unfit for military service, Steve Rogers volunteers for a top secret research project that turns him into Captain America, a superhero dedicated to defending America’s ideals. Theres talk of this being a period piece, which could be quite interesting. The title indicates that this may well be the first of several Avenger films though whether you like your superheroes on their own or all together may decide on how youll view such a film. Im not a big fan of Cap but I am going to withhold judgement until weve seen a little more.
Iron Man 2
Marvel Studios completely self-financed Iron Man, and Im fairly sure that they are quite happy that they did so, given that it was such as resounding success. In the sequel, Robert Downey Jr returns to play Tony Stark in what appears to be a role he was born to play. Still not sure on the plot of this one, but there has been talk of Whiplash/Backlash as well as Crimson Dynamo. Don Cheadle is in whilst Terrance Howard is out for the role of War Machine/Jim Rhodes.
Other Films Of Note Coming Soon:
Super Max (2010) Green Arrow
Green Lantern (2010)
Dead of Night (2009) Dylan Dog