Tobey Maguire and Neil Moritz: Artisans of Afterburn
It pains me to say, but I think I'm actually excited about an upcoming film involving Tobey Maguire. From Pleasantville to Spider-Man 3, I've never developed a liking for the actor. Despite this aversion, I feel I can get on board with Maguire's next project, Afterburn, being that the plot seems really interesting and the actor is, in fact, producing as opposed to starring in the film. It's still early in the process, so who knows, he may also appear in front of the camera. I hope not!
Afterburn is a comic originally published by newcomer Red 5 Comics that depicts a "postapocalyptic Earth" - that descriptor is used so often nowadays that I guess it no longer deserves a hyphen - in which the Eastern Hemisphere has been scorched by a solar flare, leaving the area desolate and inhabited by all manner of mutated survivors and creatures (from the radiation, obviously). A group from the non-crispy area of Earth (i.e., the Americas) ventures into the hot zone to extract societal treasures, such as the Mona Lisa, the Rosetta Stone and the Crown Jewels. Though I haven't read the book yet, I suppose with these examples that means the team isn't venturing in too far, since the Eastern Hemisphere runs roughly from the UK to Australia.
What a great storyline! I'll probably step out this weekend to see if my local comic store carries the title. Afterburn is only a four-issue, bi-monthly series, so the second book just came out. Go get it!
While I'm glad Maguire isn't starring in the project, I can't say I'm overly confident in his production abilities. Thankfully, for Afterburn he's joined by Neal Moritz (I Am Legend, upcoming Fast and the Furious 4). Interestingly, it seems Maguire is getting more into producing. He has a live-action adaptation of "Robotech" in the works, along with a similarly styled Tokyo Suckerpunch.
No writer has been announced to adapt the storyline, as of yet, so there's still a lot to work out. Whenever I hear about an early-stage project such as this, I reflexively try to imagine what it eventually might look like. For Afterburn - and don't hate me for saying this - but the 2002 film Reign of Fire comes to mind. Something about the rag-tag crew in that film venturing into a scorched London seems rightly familiar. I'll confirm this once I pick up the comics, but I doubt Afterburn has dragons in it. Sigh.