ADAPT THIS: “The Spectre”

ADAPT THIS: “The Spectre” (photo)

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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: The Spectre

The Premise: A murdered policeman is possessed by a powerful spirit that has been tasked with exacting vengeance on anyone who who deserves punishment. The spirit’s new host must reconcile his belief in law and order with the spirit’s need to deliver retribution, and use his skills as a police officer to determine exactly who deserves The Spectre’s wrath.

The Pitch: A few years ago, a live-action movie or television series based on The Spectre was probably impossible, given the limitations of special effects and audiences’ tastes. Now that we have hit shows like “American Horror Story” and “Fringe” regularly offering up moody, intense scenes of a supernatural or science-fiction nature, something like “The Spectre” seems entirely possible.

In fact, a good television series based on The Spectre would combine both of those series into a single show that relies on both procedural elements and supernatural horror.

Each episode of a “Spectre” series would feature detective Jim Corrigan (or Crispus Allen, depending on which incarnation of The Spectre is chosen) investigating vicious crimes and wrestling with the spirit inside him to make sure no one is punished before he’s proven their guilt beyond any doubt. The Spectre could also assist Corrigan in his work, much like he did in writer John Ostrander’s celebrated run on the character’s solo comic book series.

Along with offering a look at the procedural side of investigating crimes, the series could also explore the contrast between law and vengeance, science and supernatural, and the practical vs. the magical.

Rather than the more comics-accurate version of the character seen in last year’s animated “DC Showcase: The Spectre” (shown above), imagine the character portrayed as something more akin to the Dementors from the Harry Potter series or the Ringwraiths from Lord of the Rings. While he could assume his traditional form at times, envisioning The Spectre as less of a human and more a force of magical nature should offer some indication of the possibilities here.

Given that each episode would only require one or two scenes featuring The Spectre – both to maintain the impact of his presence in the show and to keep costs low – it seems like an entirely viable way to present the character.

The Closing Argument: At a time when audiences seem to be looking for more from comic book adaptations than just a dark tone, why not go back to one of the original “superheroes” of horror comics for a unique spin on the genre? Equal parts procedural investigation and terrifying tale of supernatural vengeance, The Spectre has always walked the line between traditional superhero stories and edgy horror – two genres that have no shortage of fans right now. Add a heavy dose of procedural drama, and there’s a lot to like about the notion of DC’s spirit of vengeance finding his way to the screen.

Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that the character was created by Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel. Seems like a ready-made tagline to me!

Would “The Spectre” make a good television series? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

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

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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.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

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

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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.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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