Kung Fu Panda's John Stevenson Directing We3 Movie
by Alex Billington
December 9, 2008
Although we initially reported that Kung Fu Panda co-director John Stevenson was going to direct Warner Brothers' He-Man movie, it looks like he's going to prove himself first by taking on an adaptation of the comic book series We3. Our friends at ShockTillYouDrop got the scoop on Stevenson directly from producer Don Murphy, so this time it's a fairly sound confirmation. We3 was a comic series published by Vertigo in 2004 written by Grant Morrison, who is also writing the screenplay. Initially the project was setup at New Line, but it's now being shopped around to two other "really good prospects."
We3 is an "action-packed, hyper-violent and heartbreaking story" about three test animals - a dog named Bandit, a cat named Tinker, and a rabbit named Pirate - who are infused into prototype robotic combat suits equipped with various weaponry. Thanks to chips in their skulls, they're able to speak. This trio breaks free and We3 tells of their perilous return home. Sounds like Homeward Bound, Small Soldiers, and Gremlins all crammed into one ugly movie. Murphy explains that, "Even though the film is going to be live-action, we brought on the lead director of Kung Fu Panda [John Stevenson]. He's attached to direct We3. We're doing it as an R-rating. It's not going to be cutesy. There's killer rabbits and stuff." Sounds pretty awesome.
Murphy says of the status that, "We're in the process right now of trying to figure out where we're going to make it." At the moment, it should be taken as good news that this project is actually moving along so swiftly. As I said about Stevenson in the He-Man article, he may have done a fairly good job with Kung Fu Panda, but that doesn't prove that he can handle something like this. I'm especially considered about how big of a change this is - rated R killer live-action animals versus a cute lovable panda learning kung fu? Has anyone read the We3 comics either? If not, you might as well pick a copy up on Amazon.
Had to check my calendar to make sure it wasn't April 1st. Will wait for trailer...at the very least could be hilarious.
NadaNuff on Dec 9, 2008
I saw the comic in the shop, but it just looks too weird. Drawn by Frank Quietly who is amazing and written by Grant Morrison, but still those suits freak me out.
Crapola on Dec 9, 2008
I love Grant Morrison as a writer. I'm not too worried. I've read the comic, and when the animals speak its not in a normal human way, its in this horribly childish, mangled and limited way. I can't wait to see how they interpret that in the movie. Whats also really great is that even though they've gained intelligence through science, their intuitions are still animalistic and simple. Couple that with their merciless programming and deadly suits, they're pretty fuckin scary near the end of the book. NOT to mention the possibility for live-action cyborg-dog v. cyborg-dog fights. This movie could be brutal.
Murg on Dec 9, 2008
The comics are very good, but I'm unsure of how it will translate to the screen. If it's done well the movie will be fantastic, but it's a concept that will be easy to push from disturbing and thought provoking into over-the-top and silly. I'll keep my finger's crossed.
joel on Dec 9, 2008
Grant Morrison is all ideas, which becomes a problem because his stories are more about the ideas and less about the story itself. The way the animals speak is akin to Wall-E (in that you know what they're conveying, not what they're saying) and I truly believe that if Wall-E hadn't made such a huge, dialogue-free impact this year We3 would still be in development hell.
Fuelbot on Dec 9, 2008
CANNOT WAIT! haha, love the comic, it really is mindless fun, and that should translate well
Bo on Dec 9, 2008
Bob on Dec 9, 2008
FUCK YES!!!!!!!! This is what I'm talking about some people are reading good comics. Again fuck Thor and Antman and the Avengers!
sumonesumtime on Dec 9, 2008
I didn't even read it yet. Grant morrison too!!!!!!!!!!!!!
sumonesumtime on Dec 9, 2008
I believe though people will not flock to see this, it will turn into an instant cult classic. Has all the awesomeness written into it. And besides, Kung Fu Panda was far from cute. The fighting sequences were better than a lot of action movies.
Alfredo on Dec 9, 2008
The book is awesome. I look forward to this, especially since it's rated R. I can't wait to see the killer mice.
Grr on Dec 9, 2008
Just one question. Do any of the animals die? I just can't handle that, and when the --spoiler-- dog died in I Am Legend, I was beside myself. I can't STAND springing that shit on someone for the emotive value.
RStewie on Dec 11, 2008
John Stevenson is directing We3 for New Line but he can still be invloved on helming the He-Man movie for Warner Bros if he stays on the project,I think that Stevenson would be chatting with Mattel on the film so their might so news on the cast to get Travis Fimmel to play He-Man. Thanks. BRUCE ACOSTA AUSTRALIA.
Bruce Darren Acosta on Dec 12, 2008
I hope that the movie expands on the graphic novel in certain areas, because as awesome and brilliant as it is, it felt more like a short story. We've seen that John Stevenson can make a competent, original movie; lets see how he does at adapting someones work. And, honestly, there's nothing harder to adapt than a short story. You can take an epic like Lord of the Rings and make it into a film by mostly taking out stuff from the book that doesn't work. But when you make a short story into a film, you have to add stuff yourself, which usualy ends up in fan-rage. We'll see.
Styrophoamicus on Dec 27, 2008
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