Mark Millar Looking to Direct His Original Superhero Concept
In the past decade, comic book writers and artists are finally getting some of the attention they deserve as the film industry keeps snatching up endless comic properties in hopes of starting big franchises. One such comic book club member is Mark Millar, who has shared the spotlight with the adaptations of his comics Wanted and the forthcoming Kick-Ass. Though he has plenty of other comics that could hit the big screen, Millar told STV he's got an original idea of his own he would like to direct, that he claims is a "21st Century Trainspottingy kind of thing about people with super powers," and as "cool as X-Men 2 was." Okay, I'll bite.
Looking to "make it epic, make it big and grand in scope, try and do something that's unexpected" has him setting the story in Scotland for starters. Despite the drastic location switch, I'm immediately reminded of the graphic novel series Rising Stars by J. Michael Straczynski which was said to already be optioned as a major movie when I was reading it back in high school. Though I've read the screenplay there's been no movement on that story which is a girtty take on superheroes which is about 113 people (called "Specials") born with special abilities following the appearance of a mysterious light in the sky above Pederson, Illinois. The series is like The Incredibles (Specials are just normal people with superpowers and they wear both of those characteristics on their sleeves) meets X-Men (the conflict between Specials and society) with a bit of Watchmen (an alternate future where one Special is corporate, and someone is hunting down the others).
Millar didn't reveal too many details about the idea yet, but he's also not worried about the task of sitting in the director's chair for his first time. He talks about comic books being similar to movies in their own right:
"As a comic writer people think you just put the balloons in, but really you’ve a blank piece of paper and you have to tell the story visually: start with a close-up, pull-back and all the wee tricks that we employ when we make a film as well, so it felt quite seamless actually, the idea of going into film."
But of course, drawing an action sequence, and making one come to life through the magic of green screen and stuntmen is another thing altogether. There are all sorts of moving parts of a feature film, rather than just impressive artwork and a great story. I think Millar's got the right ambition, and hopefully the talent, but only time will tell. Look what happened to Frank Miller, another prominent comic book author turned filmmaker, when he tried to direct his own movie (The Spirit). For Millar's sake, I'm hoping he can do a lot better. And for our own sake, I'm hoping this idea is as good as most of the comic books he's created. We will be keeping you updated on this project no matter what, so stay tuned. Anyone have hope for this?