ADAPT THIS: “Cyclops” by Matz and Luc Jacamon

ADAPT THIS: “Cyclops” by Matz and Luc Jacamon (photo)

Posted by on

With Hollywood turning more of its attention to the world of graphic novels for inspiration, I’ll cast the spotlight on a new comic book each week that has the potential to pack a theater or keep you glued to your television screens. At the end of each “Adapt This” column, you’ll also find some thoughts from the industry’s top comic creators about the books they’d like to see make the jump from page to screen.

This Week’s Book: Cyclops by Matz and Luc Jacamon

The Premise: In 2054, the U.N. has decided to outsource its peacekeeping missions to private security firms. Down on his luck and needing some steady income, Doug Pistoia joins up for the paycheck, but soon finds himself wearing one of the signature, camera-equipped “Cyclops” helmets that feed the public craving for entertainment with each mission he and his unit take on. As he struggles to walk the line between celebrity and soldier, Pistoia must also contend with growing doubts about his role in society. Is he really keeping the peace, or just keeping the ratings high?

The Pitch: It’s not hard to see the relevance of a story like Cyclops in today’s culture of reality television and privatized military forces, but it’s the additional science-fiction element that really makes Matz and Jocamon’s story a unique subject for adaptation. While the book was optioned back in 2008 by Warner Bros. with “The Wolverine” director James Mangold attached to direct, there’s been little movement on the project in recent years — so now seems like as good as time as any to explain why they should move forward with a Cyclops movie.

Like many of the best commentaries on modern society and culture, Cyclops‘ message is delivered via strong characters operating in a world with just enough tweaks to make it different — but not entirely unlike — our own world. Along with the camera-equipped “Cyclops” helmets, the soldiers of the story’s not-too-distant future sport uniforms with “active camo” that turns them invisible and self-healing systems that treat minor wounds. The sleek, high-tech drop-ships they pilot and the weaponry they wield only serve as added reminders that this, in fact, a story about the future.

While Matz could easily resort to hitting readers over the head with the philosophical implications of a world where the lines between entertainment, news, and war have been irreparably blurred, he keeps the story focused on his main character, Doug Pistoia, who’s neither a super-soldier nor a ready-made celebrity. He’s a regular guy, in fact, and it’s the sort of role an actor could shine in — mixing explosive action with tense dramatic moments and clever dialogue.

As Mangold stated in the initial announcement of the book being optioned, the story has all the makings of the best summer blockbusters, appealing to both a mainstream audience interested in the action and sci-fi elements as well as theater-goers intrigued by the story’s thought-provoking look at an alternate but not completely inconceivable future.

The Closing Argument: In his introduction to the most recent collection of Cyclops, Matz mentions that his inspiration for the story came from Paul Verhoeven’s storytelling style in the “Starship Troopers” movie and the dystopian future of “Blade Runner.” Both projects are a great reference point for anyone pondering the appeal of Cyclops, as it manages to offer the best parts of both films in comic book form, and could very easily do the same as a live-action film.

At a time when news channels fight amongst themselves to show footage from a missile-mounted camera homing in its target, the world of Cyclops seems closer than ever — and a story like this offers an exciting way to explore the implications of such a world.

This Week’s Comic Creator Recommendation: Queen & Country by Greg Rucka and various artists

“This is a teensy bit of a cheat, since people have long wanted to make Rucka’s gritty, glorious British spy series into a movie. In fact, Blue Beetle and Dungeons and Dragons writer (and Leverage showrunner) John Rogers was hired to write a script, way back when. But I think the ongoing missions of Tara Chace and her fellow MI-5 ‘Minders’ would make for an even better TV show — especially since, as Rucka has admitted, it was inspired by a similarly gritty and glorious TV show called ‘The Sandbaggers.’ Each week, we’d watch as the wonderfully damaged Chace and her cronies while the time away in a shoddy office, drinking hard, sexing harder, play-acting at life, only to get sent off to foreign lands for people that need killing. For Queen and Country. Dear BBC America: Duh.”

Marc Bernardin, staff writer on the current SyFy series “Alphas,” and author of multiple comic book projects for Marvel, DC, Top Cow and other publishers, including The Highwaymen, Genius, The Authority, and JLA.

Would “Cyclops” or “Queen & Country” make a good movie? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

Watch More

Bro and Tell

BFFs And Night Court For Sports

Bromance and Comeuppance On Two New Comedy Crib Series

Posted by on

“Silicon Valley meets Girls meets black male educators with lots of unrealized potential.”

That’s how Carl Foreman Jr. and Anthony Gaskins categorize their new series Frank and Lamar which joins Joe Schiappa’s Sport Court in the latest wave of new series available now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. To better acquaint you with the newbies, we went right to the creators for their candid POVs. And they did not disappoint. Here are snippets of their interviews:

Frank and Lamar


IFC: How would you describe Frank and Lamar to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Carl: Best bros from college live and work together teaching at a fancy Manhattan private school, valiantly trying to transition into a more mature phase of personal and professional life while clinging to their boyish ways.

IFC: And to a friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Carl: The same way, slightly less coherent.

Anthony: I’d probably speak about it with much louder volume, due to the bar which would probably be playing the new Kendrick Lamar album. I might also include additional jokes about Carl, or unrelated political tangents.

Carl: He really delights in randomly slandering me for no reason. I get him back though. Our rapport on the page, screen, and in real life, comes out of a lot of that back and forth.

IFC: In what way is Frank and Lamar a poignant series for this moment in time?
Carl: It tells a story I feel most people aren’t familiar with, having young black males teach in a very affluent white world, while never making it expressly about that either. Then in tackling their personal lives, we see these three-dimensional guys navigate a pivotal moment in time from a perspective I feel mainstream audiences tend not to see portrayed.

Anthony: I feel like Frank and Lamar continues to push the envelope within the genre by presenting interesting and non stereotypical content about people of color. The fact that this show brought together so many talented creative people, from the cast and crew to the producers, who believe in the project, makes the work that much more intentional and truthful. I also think it’s pretty incredible that we got to employ many of our friends!

Sport Court

Sport Court gavel

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Joe: SPORT COURT follows Judge David Linda, a circuit court judge assigned to handle an ad hoc courtroom put together to prosecute rowdy fan behavior in the basement of the Hartford Ultradome. Think an updated Night Court.

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Joe: Remember when you put those firecrackers down that guy’s pants at the baseball game? It’s about a judge who works in a court in the stadium that puts you in jail right then and there. I know, you actually did spend the night in jail, but imagine you went to court right that second and didn’t have to get your brother to take off work from GameStop to take you to your hearing.

IFC: Is there a method to your madness when coming up with sports fan faux pas?
Joe: I just think of the worst things that would ruin a sporting event for everyone. Peeing in the slushy machine in open view of a crowd seemed like a good one.

IFC: Honestly now, how many of the fan transgressions are things you’ve done or thought about doing?
Joe: I’ve thought about ripping out a whole row of chairs at a theater or stadium, so I would have my own private space. I like to think of that really whenever I have to sit crammed next to lots of people. Imagine the leg room!

Check out the full seasons of Frank and Lamar and Sport Court now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

Watch More

Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

Posted by on

He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

Watch More

Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

Posted by on
GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

Watch More
Powered by ZergNet