Adapt This: “The Sword” by The Luna Brothers

the sword

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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 various comic creators about the books they’d like to see make the jump from page to screen.

This Week’s Book: The Sword by The Luna Brothers

The Premise: Dara Brighton is a wheelchair-bound college student whose life is forever changed when three strangers brutally murder her family. When she accidentally discovers the mysterious sword the killers were looking for, it sets her on a path of vengeance that threatens everything — and everyone — around her.

The Pitch: Ever since this series reached its end in 2010, there’s been talk of a big-screen adaptation of The Sword — and for good reason. Packed with epic action sequences, globe-spanning adventure, and a fascinating mystery that slowly unfolds over the story’s 24-issue run, The Sword has all the makings of a summer blockbuster.

In the series, Dara is granted superhuman powers from a magical sword, and sets off on a quest to find the three element-controlling strangers who killed her family and left her for dead. Pursued by the government and accompanied by two friends, Dara’s journey takes her around the world and reveals some deeply hidden family secrets before it reaches its bloody conclusion.

A big-screen adaptation of the series could follow either of two paths: dividing up the series into multiple films or compressing the entire four-volume story into a single film. Given the difficulty many intended franchises have had with getting their second film made, one movie seems more likely — and since the series only spanned 24 issues, there shouldn’t be much need to cut material from the comic in order to fit it all into the movie.

Between Dara’s own, sword-given abilities (including enhanced speed, strength, and accelerated healing) and her enemies’ control over air, water, and earth, there’s a lot of opportunity for eye-catching effects in an adaptation of The Sword. Even more appealing, perhaps, is the fact that many of these effects occur on a smaller, more believable scale, instead of the usual budget-busting displays of CG spectacle. Not only does this make the adaptation’s budget a little more manageable, but it also makes the transition to the few larger, effects-heavy sequences less jarring. A movie based on The Sword would do well to take cues from a film like “Chronicle” when it comes to presenting its characters’ superhuman abilities.

The Sword comic also covers a lot of ground in 24 issues, which makes for a fast-moving story but limits some of the character development that could occur over the course of the narrative. This is one area of the story that an adaptation could actually improve upon, and bring an extra dimension to Dara and the supporting cast. This would also allow for a little more directorial and screenwriting flexibility — something that would certainly appeal to the project’s creative team.

The Closing Argument: As it stands in the comic, The Sword is already structured like a fantastic adventure film with plenty of action and just the right pacing to make an easy leap from page to screen. Given the right young, talented actress playing Dara, a movie based on The Sword could be the project that anoints the next female action hero.

Recent films like “Chronicle” and “District 9” have done a great job of balancing the need for cool effects with great character development, and an adaptation of The Sword should be approached with a similar focus. Handled properly, it’s easy to see “The Sword” as another film that comes in under the general public’s radar but surprises the heck out of audiences with its perfectly blended mix of story, characters, and effects.

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


New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…


IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.


IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.


The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”


Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).



Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.


And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.


Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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GIFs via Giffy

In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.


Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.


Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!



Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.


Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.


If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.