The Scribbler

the new writing blog for exciting contemporary writers

Posts Tagged ‘villains

Writer to rescue Heroes

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Bryan Fuller - writer and producer of Heroes (Independent)

Bryan Fuller - writer and producer of Heroes (Independent)

We’ll be straight with you, The Scribbler is not a fan of the current craze of American television shows saturating our beloved Beeb and other channels.

Shows like Lost seem to ramble on endlessly purely for that fact, because an endless plot and a forever unraveling storyline means an ever engaged audience. These are commercial gravy trains would appear to be coming off the rails though.

Bryan Fuller, the former writer-producer of Heroes, has rejoined the show’s crew as a consultant. The move follows the cancellation of his Emmy-nominated show Pushing Daisies.

The superhero series has been hemorrhaging viewers since the start of the second season.

Talking to Entertainment Weekly Fuller said: “My job is to help facilitate the vision of the show, and the vision has been a little inconsistent.”

“But Fugitives (the next arc) is such a great sea change. I think people who have been critical of Heroes will come back.”

The drama’s original writer believes drastic measures are in order to attract fans back, though those measures are somewhat questionable in our book.

“People will die. And some will return. Matt’s wife (Janice) comes back. We’ll find out what happens when you have a superbaby.”

A superbaby? Don’t tell me Fuller didn’t hear the sighs of disappointment from cinema audiences when Clark Kent’s alter-ego found out he had a son in Superman Returns.

As for why Heroes found itself out of favour with fans, Fuller has his own theories: “It became too dense and fell into certain sci-fi trappings.

“For instance, in the Villains arc, when you talk about formulas and catalysts, it takes the face off the drama.

“You have to save something with a face, otherwise you don’t understand what you’re caring about. We’re also altering the structure so that there’s a very clear A story.”

So basically Heroes is in line for a spot of dumbing down then?

“But it is a big ship, it’s going to take a little while to turn it.”

Part of the reason The Scribbler isn’t a fan of shows like Lost and Heroes is their lazy use of the English language. Scriptwriting 101: Use as few words as possible to say as much as possible, this is how people really talk. People don’t describe every single thing they are doing, even if there have got a few subplots going on elsewhere. The below clip from the incredible police drama The Wire proves our point exactly.

Discussion:
What are your favourite examples of screenplay writing? Are you a fan of any the American television-cum-Hollywood shows and why? Are you penning your own ‘high production value’ television drama? Care to share?

Words: Dean Samways

Unsung superheroes

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Some of the superheroes you may be familiar with but what about the ones youre not?

Some of the superheroes you may be familiar with but what about the ones you're not?

Following a rather extended stint of comic book news pieces on The Scribbler we thought it only fair to extend the run with another.

Den of Geek, a website devoted to all things geeky, has compiled a list of eight comic book characters that have been cruelly left out of that select circle of characters turned into Hollywood movies.

With near on 80 comic book adaptations in the pipeline the website believes that these eight characters would translate well into celluloid heroes and villains; and with the Batman and Spider-Man screen renditions being some of the most profitable films of recent years many producers are looking for the next big thing.

Here is a selection of the characters chosen:

Vampirella – Sexy-woman-in-revealing-costume-who-kicks-ass is one of the most successful concepts in Hollywood but even Halle Berry couldn’t turn the idea into a success in the ill fated Catwoman. However, if adapted with a pinch of salt, Vampirella could well become a cult hit. Think Robert Rodriguez’s stripper/vampire romp From Dusk till Dawn and your half way there. The creator Forrest J. Ackerman is holding up the rights for a better film version after the poorly received straight to video release in 1996 so it may be a while until someone can persuade him to take the plunge once again.

Strontium Dog – The long running 2000AD series hasn’t had the best of luck when adapted for the silver screen. Judge Dredd was laughed out of the cinema by most and left many fans disappointed. The spaghetti western style of Strontium Dog is a big reason as to why many think it would make a good film adaptation. The other big argument for Strontium Dog is that the maverick mutant bounty hunter Johnny Alpha is the stuff of Hollywood dreams. Although creator John Wagner created a weird dystopian future for Strontium Dog, the good guy hunting down the bad guy is on page one of Hollywood action narrative 101.

Satana – Running along the similar lines as Vampirella, the leading lady Judith Camber channels a sexy Succubus ‘Satana’ to kick the asses of her oppressors in skimpy and revealing outfits.  Like Vampirella any successful film version will have to take a tongue and cheek approach, despite this many filmgoers would enjoy a woman unleashing hells fury onto her enemies. You know what they say hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Man Thing – Some studios that own the rights to a comic may rush out a film version simply to keep the rights for a later, and hopefully, better release. This happened in 1994 with the Fantastic Four and just over a decade later the bigger, and possibly better, Fantastic Four was released. A 2005 straight to TV version of the Man Thing has left many fans hoping that there will be a full-scale cinema release in the near future. Man thing calls upon the old comic book favourite of a scientist injecting himself with his own serum just to have it turn him into something nasty.  Many fans believe that the central character has a close link to Robocop, something seemingly nasty and evil motivated by good intentions he hardly understands whilst at the same time still wishing for his previous human life. It may sound complicated but this idea has been the solid base for comic book characters past present and future.

These are the most viable adaptations, as some of those picked out by the site will take something special to be adapted to film. The tale of Howard the Duck is a strange one. A cigar-smoking duck from a duck-based alternate universe stuck in our place and time with no powers except for a hard-line attitude. Only the bravest scriptwriters need apply to remake that one.

Comics and graphic novels look set to dominate our screens for a while to come and as this small selection of neglect raw material shows, even the most diverse comics could make it from the comic book store and into cinemas.

Take a look at the trailer for possibly the greatest Marvel movie of all time, and no it’s not Spidey:

Discussion:
What comic book characters do you want to see given the silver screen treatment? Which heroes and villains would work best and why?

Words: Seamus Swords