Akiva Goldsman Briefly Talks Guy Ritchie's Lobo & Swamp Thing
Another big Hollywood profile published this week was about writer/producer Akiva Goldsman, written by LA Times' comic book blogger Geoff Boucher. It's a great profile that looks at his career and addresses concerns over Batman & Robin, but Boucher also made sure to ask Goldsman about a few of the projects he's producing. At this moment, Goldsman is probably best known as a producer, and he was recently announced as the frontrunner on the Fantastic Four reboot at Fox. But he's also working on the adaptation of DC Comics' Lobo that Guy Ritchie is directing and the recently announced Swamp Thing adaptation.
For those unfamiliar with DC Comics' Lobo, he's a blue-skinned, super-powered alien "who has a bad attitude and delights in mayhem." It was announced back in early September that Guy Ritchie had been attached to direct the adaptation, directly following Sherlock Holmes. Goldsman and Ritchie are shooting a test scene in November. "We've got the character design pretty much done," Goldsman said, "and the test will get us moving forward to the next step." The next step being casting, even though Jeffrey Dean Morgan recently said he was interested in the role (and is already working with Goldsman on The Losers anyway). But why choose Guy Ritchie to direct this? Doesn't that seem like an odd fit for a comic book movie?
"There's something hyperbolic and authentic about a Guy Ritchie movie. His best movie are deeply, deeply stylized yet they are all grounded; there's a grit of stylization, which sounds like an oxymoron but it makes perfect sense when you've seen his films," Goldsman said. "We've never seen Guy's sensibility married to a project with such a large special effects budget."
I would argue that Sherlock Holmes has a large special effects budget, but because I haven't seen it, I can't say that with conviction. As a fan of most of Guy Ritchie's past London-based films, I'm interested in seeing how his transition into Hollywood works out, and if his sensibilities will actually work in these big budget adaptations and whether audiences will appreciate his style. I suppose we'll find out on Christmas Day.
Back in August, it was also uncovered that producer Joel Silver (who works closely with Akiva Goldsman) is working on an adaptation of Alan Moore's Swamp Thing comic books. At the time, Silver didn't say much about what it would be like or how they would adapt it, besides that he wanted to see it in 3D (which already makes me groan). Goldsman, however, fills in a few gaps in regards to how they're planning to tackle this. Apparently it will be "closer in tone to the character as presented in Alan Moore's eerie, metaphysical horror comics than the rubber-suit bog creature from the 1982 Wes Craven B-movie." Here's another quote:
"We want a film with real Southern, dark horror overtones, a little bit like a classic Universal horror film," Goldsman said.
I am admittedly one of those guys who always confuses the Swamp Thing monster with the Creature from the Black Lagoon, so Goldsman making that comparison just throws me off even more. I know plenty of people still hate this guy for what he did to the Batman franchise in the late 90's, but I think it's time to forgive and forget and move on. Since winning an Oscar for A Beautiful Mind in 2002, he's written some great scripts, including I, Robot, Cinderella Man and I Am Legend (some of my personal faves). And I have hope for both Lobo and Swamp Thing and maybe even the Fantastic Four reboot knowing he's involved.