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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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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.