DID YOU READ

ADAPT THIS: “Creature Tech” by Doug TenNapel

creature-tech

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 some “Adapt This” columns, you’ll also find 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: Creature Tech by Doug TenNapel

The Premise: After brilliant scientist and former preacher Michael Ong is named head researcher at a strange government facility, his life takes a turn for the weird when an alien being attaches itself to his body in a symbiotic relationship that gives him strange new powers. Ong barely has time to register his condition before he finds himself battling slug monsters, demonic cat-beasts, and a mad scientist intent on conquering the world with the help of a giant space eel.

Luckily, Ong has help from the local rednecks, the alien attached to his body, and a human-sized, CIA-trained mantis. (And those are the good guys!)

The Pitch: It’s worth pointing out right from the start that the adaptation rights to TenNapel’s Creature Tech were bought up by 20th Century Fox way back in 2002, almost half a year before the the book hit shelves and only after an intense bidding war. However, there’s been little word on the project since then, other than to announce that “Eureka” television series writer Andrew Cosby was working on the film’s screenplay.

The creator of the “Earthworm Jim” franchise of games, television series, and toys, TenNapel channeled a similarly zany tone for Creature Tech, and it’s easy to see how the tale of bizarre science and supernatural dangers run amuck could make for a fun big-screen adventure. When the book initially arrived on shelves, its story earned favorable comparisons to those of “Shrek” and the “Toy Story” movies, which also cast a quirky eye on their characters’ worlds.

Even so, the element that makes Creature Tech seem most apt for adaptation has nothing to do with the story’s eclectic cast of characters or the crazy things they get up to. What makes Creature Tech so appealing is that, at its core, it’s actually a wonderful little love story.

Much like “Shrek” or countless other offbeat films set within a universe where real-world rules don’t seem to apply, the one constant in Creature Tech is its main character’s desire to protect the love of his life and reveal his true feelings to her. It’s the sort of anchor that keeps a story grounded no matter how insane the environment becomes – which is good, because in Creature Tech, things get very, very insane.

Along with Michael Ong, there’s a long list of fun, quirky characters to be found in Creature Tech, whether human, alien, ghost, or insect. In fact, if the source material is translated well, there’s a good chance that supporting character Blue (a human-sized mantis trained by the CIA to be Ong’s bodyguard) could earn more than a few cheers from audiences.

Creature Tech also features a great matchup of hero and villain, with the evil Dr. Jameson and his diabolical machinations matching up nicely with the film’s unlikely hero. Like in all good stories of this sort, Ong is forced to face up to demons both within himself and in the world around him before he’s finally able to save the day (and the girl).

The Closing Argument: If it’s a standard studio pitch you’re looking for, a good “Creature Tech” movie would blend the weird-science tone of “Eureka” and the offbeat heroism of “Monsters vs. Aliens” with a nice dose of “Men In Black”-style creature effects. The entertainment should come as much from the characters themselves as from the world they inhabit — a world filled with unbelievably strange elements around every corner.

Whether an adaptation of Creature Tech takes form as a live-action film with digital effects or an animated film, there’s a great adventure just waiting to be mined in TenNapel’s story of faith, love, and science-fiction. Here’s hoping the studio sees it that way as well, and finally gets around to giving the adaptation the nudge it deserves.


Would “Creature Tech” make a good movie? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

Watch More
FrankAndLamar_100-Trailer_MPX-1920×1080

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

via GIPHY

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
Brockmire-103-banner-4

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
Brockmire_101_tout_2

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