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DID YOU READ

Adapt This: “Justice League: Origin” by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee

justice league

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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: Justice League: Origin by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee

The Premise: In a world that’s getting its first introduction to super-powered, costumed heroes and villains, a cosmic threat forces Batman to team up with Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and various other superheroes to save Earth. With a live-action “Justice League” movie on the way, the first adventure of DC’s premiere super-team in the rebooted “New 52” universe offers a great blueprint for the big screen that simultaneously introduces the characters to new audiences and tests the limits of what the seven heroes are capable of — both individually and united against a common threat.

The Pitch: When DC decided to relaunch its entire universe, the need to begin with a strong foundation for its most famous team of superheroes was clear — and it’s easy to see that the potential for a big-screen adventure wasn’t far from the publishers’ minds, either. Geoff Johns and Jim Lee have crafted an impressive origin story for the Justice League that feels like it could make an easy transition from page to screen.

The first story arc of the new Justice League series assumes some familiarity with the characters who make up the team but still offers a bit of context for their place in the world — something a live-action movie would do well to mimic. On top of that, the story also illustrates the particular set of skills each character brings to the group and why “a guy dressed like a bat” can be just as important as the Man of Steel when the chips are down. In this way, Justice League: Origin simultaneously introduces the characters to a newcomers and establishes how they relate to each other, covering two of the biggest requirements for a live-action, superhero team-up movie.

While the story in Justice League: Origin follows the standard team-up formula, having the individual heroes fight amongst each other before eventually teaming up to take on the big bad guy they can’t defeat individually, “The Avengers” proved that you don’t need an overly-complex plot to make a good superhero team-up movie. If you cast the characters well, then you can put them in a scene together and watch the sparks fly. With Origin, there’s a compelling narrative that manages to give all of the heroes equal time while also splitting them up in various groupings to show how different characters play off each other (similar to what was done in “The Avengers” so well).

Probably the biggest obstacle in bringing Justice League: Origin to the screen is the villain used in the arc: Darkseid. One of DC’s most lethal villains from the cosmic side of the publisher’s universe, Darkseid is significantly more alien than anything we’ve seen in Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies or any of the Superman movies made thus far, for that matter. In fact, the most closest we’ve got to something vaguely Darkseid-like in recent, prominent comic book movies are the Frost Giants that appeared in “Thor,” with their massive, intimidating profiles and noticeably non-human appearance. The Superman-themed television series “Smallville” encountered this very same problem when it tried to bring Darkseid to the screen in its final season, and ended up turning the character into a red-eyed smoke monster. Most fans will probably agree that this isn’t the way to go with Darkseid, so a live-action “Justice League” movie will need to find the balance between a computer-generated character and practical acting. (Maybe some motion-capture work, perhaps?)

Casting Suggestions: It’s a no-brainer to suggest “Man of Steel” actor Henry Cavill as the Superman of “Justice League,” but what about the rest of the team? “Haywire” actress and mixed martial arts fighter Gina Carano could make for an interesting take on Wonder Woman, with a physicality that’s quite a bit more believable than some waifish actress tossing bad guys through a wall.

Warner Bros. would certainly win points from the “Doctor Who” crowd for casting “Torchwood” actor John Barrowman as Bruce Wayne/Batman, but the need to skew a bit younger could make someone like “Sons of Anarchy” actor Charlie Hunnam a good pick for the role. His ability to channel the Dark Knight’s brooding intensity could make him a pleasant surprise in the role, though all of this probably depends on whether Joseph Gordon-Levitt wants to don the cape and cowl.

As for the Flash and Green Lantern, “Friday Night Lights” actor Scott Porter continues to be a good match for the Barry Allen version of the Scarlet Speedster (he’s been the subject of a fan campaign for a while now), while the studio would likely want to continue with Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan. If WB opts to recast the role, why not go with someone like “White Collar” star Matthew Bomer (who coincidentally was set to play Superman before Bryan Singer jumped onboard “Superman Returns”). And while we’re at it, let’s go meta and cast Adrian Grenier as Aquaman so he has the chance to bridge the gap between his “Entourage” character’s career and his real-world career.

Finally, putting Anthony Mackie in the role of Cyborg will give the project a serious, dramatic actor with the chops to make Victor Stone’s tragic condition a source of genuine angst.


Would “Justice League: Origin” make a good movie? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

via GIPHY

Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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