Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Silver Surfer, Where Are You?

I feel many would agree with me that one of the greatest disappointments ever to come out of superhero movies was Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Not only did they butcher Galactus, making him a pink cloud rather than a building-high demi-god that walks around planets like Godzilla, leveling everything in his path, they made the Silver Surfer a wimp...a whiny, not-so-shiny wimp at that.

When I checked on the status of the Silver Surfer movie, which I hoped would redeem him, it was slated for a 2012 release. It has now been pushed back to 2014-2016. Why? Turns out, Fox and Marvel are haggling over the rights to the Surfer, Galactus, and Daredevil. Marvel wants the rights to Surfer and Galactus (probably Fantastic Four and Doctor Doom too) so bad they're willing to let Fox hold on to Daredevil (the rights expire October 10th if no movie has started production) and massacre him in another installment.

If there's one origin story I actually wouldn't mind, it would be the Surfer's. Other than a brief glimpse of Thanos at the end of the Avengers and a few scenes in Asgard during Thor, Marvel's universe, when it comes to outer space, has not really been on film. Granted, the Guardians of the Galaxy movie releasing in August 2014 will delve into the cosmos, but there's an insane amount of ongoings being overlooked.

For starters, Surfer's movie could begin with Norrin Rad as an astronomer from Zenn-la that stumbles upon Galactus, pledges himself as a herald to save his planet, and travels around causing all sorts of genocide, after, of course, Galactus creates the Surfer's board and gives him the Power Cosmic. Half of the movie Surfer would be a hero forced to do villainous deeds, and he wouldn't be brainwashed or poisoned. He'd be fully aware and distraught over his actions, a side we've never really seen from a superhero. When shown in Rise of the Surfer, he has already grappled his demons; we see the tail-end of his arch. From there, Fantastic Four can get their needed reboot as well.

If there's ever to be an Infinity Gauntlet trilogy, Silver Surfer has to be involved, which means audiences need to be more familiar with Jack Kirby's creation. Using the Surfer, filmmakers can also introduce races like the Skrull and Kree, cosmic entities (Eon, Un-Being, Celestials, Nemesis, etc.), Adam Warlock, or the Defenders, a superhero group that consists of Dr. Strange, the Hulk, Namor, Valkyrie, Nighthawk, and Hellcat...among others. The roads a Surfer movie would open are almost endless.


  1. I think this is a good idea. It makes logical and also money sense. Of course I don't know the cost of rights and all that. But to someone who has no freaking clue who 75% of the villains, heroes and antiheroes you mentioned, I would see these trailers and be like whoa they finally came up with something new and not redoing the same old shite. Then I'd find out they were actual characters with a history in the comics and that'd be cool cuz they introduced me to more of the comic world. So win-win.
    Question for you - with comics already being so artistic and visual, what are you looking for when you get to see them on the screen?
    Or is the experience more or less the same as when one reads a book then sees the movie?

  2. When I go to see a superhero movie I look for two things: the story from the comics being taken seriously, meaning faithful to the source material, and live action scenes that draw from the comics. If you think about it, superhero movies should have a large advantage over book adaptations, because comic book artists have already made the storyboards, set designs, and character wardrobes. In a lot of ways, the groundwork for scripts have already been done as well. It's ludicrous that Hollywood makes films without drawing on those sources. When a director and the actors understand the source material and their character, we get films like Avengers and The Dark Knight. When they don't, we get trash like the Green Lantern movie or Schumaker Batman...even the Fantastic Four movies which are midway between trash and fantastic. Case in point, Chris Evans is amazing as Captain America yet was somehow only decent as Johnny Blaze/Human Torch, despite giving the best performances in the Fantastic Four movies.

  3. Just imagine how many people would be upset if the human torch had been called Johnny Blaze in the movie considering that Johnny Blaze is Ghost Rider and human torch is Johnny Storm. How can you be an enthusiast or even a critic and not know that?