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DID YOU READ

Adapt This: “The Cape” by Joe Hill, Jason Ciaramella, and Zach Howard

The Cape

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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 Cape by Joe Hill, Jason Ciaramella, and Zach Howard

The Premise: When a basement-dwelling slacker discovers that his favorite childhood memento gives him powerful abilities, his life is changed forever… but is it a change for the better? This dark comic based on Joe Hill’s short story explores the terrible outcome when great power is given to someone who feels no responsibility whatsoever to use it in a positive way.

The Pitch: In many ways, The Cape is more of a horror story than your typical super-power tale, and that’s what makes it stand out as great adaptation material. It’s a mix of “Chronicle” and “Stand By Me” that plumbs the depths of darker fare like “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer,” and turns the classic superhero tale on its head by telling its story from the villain’s perspective.

There’s a good reason why the original one-shot comic based on Hill’s story was nominated for an Eisner Award, one of the most prestigious awards in the comic-book industry, and a good adaptation of The Cape could receive a similar welcome from audiences and critics alike. Filmmakers like Christopher Nolan have primed mainstream movie fans for grittier stories that temper fantastic elements with realistic, flawed characters whose decisions reflect their damaged personalities. And that’s exactly the sort of main character Hill gives us in Eric, a man-child who lives in his mother’s basement and blames the world for his failures. His supporting cast is similarly scarred, and in some ways, it’s their faults that determine their destiny.

A big-screen adaptation of The Cape would probably be best served by a director willing to put the fantastic elements of the story second to the slow-building character development that will make the shocking (and occasionally disturbing) twists and turns pay off both narratively and emotionally. Give this adaptation room to breathe and the amazing set pieces in the source material will generate even greater cinematic magic on the screen.

Casting Suggestions: The most important character to cast in an adaptation of The Cape is Eric, the scruffy slacker whose social and emotional regression first leads to his mother’s basement, and then to the discovery that his childhood cape lets him fly through the air.

Someone like Matt Jones already embodies many of Eric’s traits in the character he plays in “Breaking Bad,” Badger, and a film like this might be a good test of his leading-man potential. He’s a gamble, sure, but there are a few other actors that come to mind for a role like this, too.

It’s easy to see some of the darker elements of Eric’s personality in the role Ryan Hurst plays on “Sons of Anarchy,” and it would be interesting to see him take those elements down a darker path instead of the more heroic, redemptive journey his character is taking on the series now. Similarly, Tyler Labine of “Reaper” and “Tucker & Dale vs. Evil” has made a career out of playing lovable slackers, so a chance to play a character that the audience can’t root for no matter how hard they try might provide a nice stretch for the up-and-coming actor.


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

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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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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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…