Adapt This: “The Executor” by Jon Evans & Andrea Mutti

the executor

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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 cool 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 and other industry experts about the books they’d like to see make the jump from page to screen.

This Week’s Book: The Executor by Jon Evans and Andrea Mutti (Vertigo Crime)

The Premise: When washed-up hockey goon Joe Ullen learns that he’s been named the executor of his high-school girlfriend’s will, he decides to return home to troubled town where he grew up. Soon he finds himself caught up in the mystery of her death and the grisly connection between her murder and a dark secret from his past.

The Pitch: As we take a break from the superhero stories for a bit, it’s worth noting that The Executor is just one of several great stories to come out of DC’s line of Vertigo Crime graphic novels. Written by award-winning novelist Jon Evans (Dark Places), The Executor is a dark, disturbing story that unfolds in the fictional Elohra, NY — a backwater town mired in economic troubles and a longstanding land dispute with the nearby Mohawk tribal reservation.

While it’s always nice to see a flashy superhero story make the leap from page to screen, The Executor offers some great source material for a tense, gritty mystery that will leave audiences talking well after the credits roll. Evans provides ample amounts of misdirection while gradually seeding the story with the clues to the truth, and the entire tale culminates in dramatic, cinema-friendly fashion once everything stands revealed.

Like any good mystery, there’s no shortage of likely suspects in the murder that lies at the heart of The Executor, and each of the characters has a lot of potential for the right actor to make the role his (or her) own. Even though the story focuses on Joe Ullen, there’s real depth in the supporting cast — something that translates to strong foundations and room for talented actors to put their own spins on the characters.

At a time when every movie seems to rely on a gimmicky angle or eye-catching special effects that often hide flaws in the script, The Executor is a simple, ready-made story that doesn’t require any storytelling tricks or fancy visual elements to hold your attention. It’s the sort of story that could just as easily provide the big break for an up-and-coming filmmaker as offer a nice opportunity for an established director to make a solid, character-driven drama.

Potential Casting: If the film is able to go the big-budget route, actors like Christian Bale or Daniel Day-Lewis would probably find a lot to like in the Joe Ullen role, as the character has more than a few skeletons in his closet and a lot of inner turmoil that he’s working through over the course of the story. It would also be nice to see someone like Tom Hardy take on a quieter role like this, too. A lesser-known actor who comes to mind as a good fit for Joe Ullen is Ryan Hurst from “Sons of Anarchy,” who seems to have a good grasp on the balance between physicality and emotion.

Keeping in line with that Batman theme, Christopher Nolan’s “Insomnia” shares some tonal similarities with The Executor, as well as films like Clint Eastwood’s “Mystic River” and Ben Affleck’s “Gone Baby Gone,” which also share a similar vibe with Evans’ story — so any of those directors would likely do a great job translating the graphic novel to the screen.

The cultural implications of the story would also offer a nice chance to cast the film with prominent Native American actors across a wide range of ages, and there’s no shortage of talent to be found in that pool these days. “Apocalypto” actor Raoul Trujillo is an easy choice for Irkar, one of the locals Joe clashes with during his time in Elohra, and someone like Graham Greene (“Dances With Wolves”) or Wes Studi (“Last of the Mohicans”) could bring some real weight to the role of Jacob Tarbell, the reservation’s tribal chief.

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

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SAG Life

Rappers Act Up

Watch the Yo! IFC Acts Movie Marathon Memorial Day Weekend.

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Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Everett Collection (and the '90s)

Memorial Day weekend: how to celebrate? Nothing quite says “screw spring—let’s do summer” like blockbuster movies starring rappers who ditched lucrative music careers in order to become actors. It happened a lot, remember? Especially in and around the ’90s. Will Smith, Eminem, Ice Cube, Ice-T, Marky Mark Wahlberg, Ludacris…icons with the hubris to try the silver screen instead and have it totally work out.

But what if more rappers had made the leap? That’s a rhetorical question—movies (and life) would’ve been better, obviously. To prove it, here are some movies that would’ve been more memorable with rappers.

The Godfather

Starring Biggie, not Brando.

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory

Only Coolio could improve upon Gene Wilder’s performance.

Billy Elliot

Billy Elliot, with a dose of Missy Elliott.

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Low hanging fruit, Hollywood.

And of course…


See NONE of those movies and a whole bunch of real ones this Memorial Day weekend on IFC’s rapper-filled movie marathon.

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Brock Hard

Brockmire’s Guide To Grabbing Life By The D***

Catch up on the full season of Brockmire now.

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“Lucy, put supper on the stove, my dear, because this ballgame is over!”

Brockmire has officially closed out its rookie season. Miss the finale episode? A handful of episodes? The whole blessed season?? You can see it all from the beginning, starting right here.

And you should get started, because every minute you spend otherwise will be a minute spent not living your best life. That’s right, there are very important life lessons that Brockmire hid in plain sight—lessons that, when applied thoughtfully, can improve every aspect of your awesome existence. Let’s dive into some sage nuggets from what we call the Book of Jim.

Life Should Be Spiked, Not Watered Down.

That’s not just a fancy metaphor. As Brockmire points out, water tastes “awful. 70% of the water is made up of that shit?” Life is short, water sucks, live like you mean it.

There Are Only Three Types of People

“Poor people, rich people and famous people. Rich people are just poor people with money, so the only worthwhile thing is being famous.” So next time your rich friends act all high and mighty, politely remind them that they’re worthless in the eyes of even the most minor celebrities.

There’s Always A Reason To Get Out Of Bed

And 99% of the time that reason is the urge to pee. It’s nature’s way of saying “seize the day.”

There’s More To Life Than Playing Games

“Baseball can’t compete with p0rnography. Nothing can.” Nothing you do or ever will do can be more important to people than p0rn. Get off your high horse.

A Little Empathy Goes A Long Way

Especially if you’ve taken someone else’s Plan B by mistake.

Our Weaknesses Can Be Our Greatest Strengths

Tyrion Lannister said something similar. Hard to tell who said it with more colorful profanity. Wise sentiments all around.

Big Things Come To Those Who Wait

When you’re looking for a sign, the universe will drop you a big one. You’re the sh*t, universe.

And Of Course…

Need more life lessons from the Book of Jim? Catch up on Brockmire on the IFC App.

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Oh Mama

Mommie May I?

Mommie Dearest Is On Repeat All Mothers Day Long On IFC

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GIFs via Giphy

The cult-classic movie Mommie Dearest is a game-changer. If you’ve seen it even just once (but come on, who sees it just once?), then you already know what we’re talking about.

But if you haven’t seen it, then let us break it down for you. Really quick, we promise, we’ll even list things out to spare you the reading of a paragraph:

1. It’s the 1981 biopic based on the memoir of Christina Crawford, Hollywood icon Joan Crawford’s adopted daughter.
2. Faye Dunaway plays Joan. And boy does she play her. Loud and over-reactive.
3. It was intended as a drama, but…
4. Waaaaaay over-the-top performances and bargain-basement dialogue rendered it an accidental comedy.
5. It’s a cult classic, and you’re the last person to see it.

Not sold? Don’t believe it’s going to change your life? Ok, maybe over-the-top acting isn’t your thing, or perhaps you don’t like the lingering electricity of a good primal scream, or Joan Crawford is your personal icon and you can’t bear to see her cast in such a creepy light.

But none of that matters.

What’s important is that seeing this movie gives you permission to react to minor repeat annoyances with unrestrained histrionics.

That there is a key moment. Is she crazy? Yeah. But she’s also right. Shoulder nipples are horrible, wire hangers are the worst, and yelling about it feels strangely justified. She did it, we can do it. Precedent set. You’re welcome.

So what else can we yell about? Channel your inner Joan and consider the following list offenses when choosing your next meltdown.

Improperly Hung Toilet Paper

Misplaced Apostrophes

Coldplay at Karaoke

Dad Jokes

Gluten Free Pizza

James Franco

The list of potential pedestrian grievances is actually quite daunting, but when IFC airs Mommie Dearest non-stop for a full day, you’ll have 24 bonus hours to mull it over. 24 bonus hours to nail that lunatic shriek. 24 bonus hours to remember that, really, your mom is comparatively the best.

So please, celebrate Mother’s Day with Mommie Dearest on IFC and at IFC.com. And for the love of god—NO WIRE HANGERS EVER.

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