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Posts Tagged ‘Reboot’

Films based on comic books and graphic novels are big business taking billions of dollars at the box office but this wasn’t always the case. After years of the rights to Marvel comics being sold off for TV shows and rubbish films (often with a tiny budget) movies, then came Marvel studios, their first film, Blade (1998) was a co production with New Line Cinema. Not risking one of their big name comic books their first film and in some ways their most important was Blade. Without its success would all the other Marvel properties have been made, and made with such vast budgets if not for the success of Blade.Blade Comic

A couple of years ago it was reported that the rights to Blade had reverted to Marvel Studios, there has been numerous reports that there was a new film in the works. Would it be a fourth in the existing series or a reboot? If a continuation of the series would Wesley Snipes continue in the title role or would he be replaced? Idris Elba has been frequently mentioned as a replacement. This could be genius casting, not only because he could well be perfect but for the opportunity it creates. The original film series rewrote Blade’s back story, a reboot would give the opportunity to return to an origin closer to the one from the comic books. An origin that like Elba that began in London. Eric Brooks was born in Soho, London in the 1920’s the son of a prostitute. When his mother Tara Brooks experienced difficulties in labour, a doctor was called for but what actually came was the vampire Deacon Frost. Frost feasted on Tara killing her in the process. Blade was born with many of the abilities of a vampire, but without their aversion to daylight. When he was nine years old Eric came across the home of Jamal Afari, vampire-hunter and jazz trumpeter during a vampire attack. The pair destroyed the vampires and Afari became Eric’s mentor training him in hand-to-hand combatant and the use of edged weapons. As he mastered these practices he took the name Blade and became the vampire hunter that first appeared in The Tomb of Dracula comic book.idris-elba

Idris Elba is not new to the world of vampires having appeared in the fantastic Chanel 4 mini series Ultraviolet (1998). He is also no stranger to comic book movies having already appeared to Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012), Thor (2011) and will be appearing in Thor: The Dark World later this year. A diverse actor Elba could bring the same dry humour and comedy that Wesley Snipes did to what is essentially a dark story. The tone for a new version would be set by the direction the director chooses, something between what Guillermo del Toro did with Blade II and Christopher Nolan’s Batman films would be perfect. Now the rights are back with Marvel asks the interesting question of where a new series will fit into the existing Marvel Universe. Given the fact that in the original trilogy the vampires existed without the knowledge of the public at large the same would probably be true of a new story. This would allow Blade to exist in the same universe as The Avengers without them necessarily having to come into direct contact, but given the option to crossover in future. It would work just as well if not more so it Blade existed in his own universe without the interference of any other Marvel characters.Wesley Snipes Blade

Whatever happens it will be good to see new life breathed into a franchise that has already given us to excellent and underrated movies (and a third best forgotten). I just hope they avoid the Disney pitfall of making it a 12A or PG movie, part of the appeal of the Blade is that despite the comic book action it was at its heart a vampire horror.

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The Spy Who Loved Me from yesterday was a repost from three years ago. When I originally posted the treatment for a movie based on the un-filmed Bond novel (the film of the same name is not based on Ian Fleming’s novel) I promised a similar idea based on Moonraker. Better late than never here it is after three years.

So you think you know Moonraker? As the great Ross McG from Ross v Ross once said, ‘Oh, Star Wars is huge! Lets put Bond in space with Moonraker!’ That’s not far off the mark. But back in 1955, just ten years after World War II and during the Cold War Ian Flemings’s third Bond novel was very different. The only way this would work as a movie would be to reboot the series and set the movie in the 1950’s, something I have wanted to see for a long time.

M asks Bond to join him at his club, Blades to sit in a game of bridge. Millionaire businessman Sir Hugo Drax has been winning a lot of money, M suspects him of cheating and wants to know why. Bond confirms M’s suspicions and turns the tables by cheating himself winning a large sum of money.

The mysterious Drax was a British soldier who made his fortune in the aerospace industry after being injured and suffering amnesia during World War II. A national hero because of his backing for the Moonraker project, Britain’s first nuclear missile intended as a nuclear deterrent during the cold war. (Britain’s first nuclear missile the Blue Streak was actually announced around the time the novel was published). Bond is sent to Drax’s factory near Dover to replace security officer working on the project who was shot dead. While there he meets Gala Brand, a beautiful (isn’t everyone in the Bond world) Special Branch agent working undercover as Drax’s personal assistant. It appears Bonds predecessor was killed to stop him revealing a sighting of a submarine off the coast. Bond also makes the surprising discovery (remember this is only ten years after the war) that all the scientists working on the Moonraker project are German. Meanwhile, Gala discovers the truth about the Moonraker, its first test flight will be aimed at the heart of London fitted with a Soviet nuclear warhead. She is captured and imprisoned in the building containing a beacon the missile will be aimed at.

Bond’s attempt to rescue Gala fails resulting in his capture and the destruction of his beloved Bentley. It is then that Drax, in true megalomaniac villain style reveals is back-story and his plans: he was not a British soldier and did not have amnesia. He was the leader of the commando unit (dressed in British uniform) that caused the explosion he was injured in. The amnesia, a cover story while he recovered in a British hospital. After the war he took up a new identity as cover but retained his Nazi beliefs and conceived the Moonraker to destroy London in revenge. In the process he also intends to make a killing on the stock market. To destroy all evidence Brand and Bond are moved to the area under the Moonraker’s engines just before it is fired. They promptly escape and with the help of Soviet Intelligence change the coordinates to redirect the Moonraker safely into the sea. Drax is killed attempting to escape in a Russian submarine. Bond meets up with Gala but is snubbed in favour of he fiancé.

So how have I come up with such a great story? Put simply I haven’t, this is not a treatment for a movie this is an overview of the plot lifted straight from the novel. So who would make it? Director Quentin Tarantino has often mentioned his interest in directing a Bond film. If anyone can make the 50’s setting work it is him. And to reboot the series again we need a new bond. Already a contender for the next James Bond, Michael Fassbender cemented his period credentials in X-Men: First Class and Inglourious Basterds. Gala Brand needs to be played by a talented and attractive British actress with Hollywood credibility, it has to be Emily Blunt. I’m not sure on who should play Sir Hugo Drax, maybe I am getting hung up on the red hair described in the Novel, but I am thinking Damian Lewis.

Financially rebooting the series to a 50’s or 60’s setting would be a huge risk that I can not see the studio taking. But artistically the franchise has already done all it can and said all it has to say, a new direction will give it new direction and new life. And if you are wondering the poster at the top is from a 2004 Internet hoax that claiming to have found 40 minutes of footage from an unfinished 1956 version of Moonraker directed by Orson Welles staring Dirk Bogarde as Bond, Welles as Drax.

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