DID YOU READ

Adapt This: “Hotwire” by Steve Pugh and Warren Ellis

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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: Hotwire by Steve Pugh, based on a story by Warren Ellis (Radical Publishing)

The Premise: London is overrun with “blue lights” (a.k.a. ghosts), but that isn’t the problem. The problem is that the normally docile spirits have suddenly turned violent, and committed a series of grisly hauntings. Enter the Metro Police Station’s resident Detective Exorcist, Alice Hotwire, a young, bratty agent who’s too smart for her own good. As Alice investigates the blue lights’ sudden shift in mood, what she discovers will challenge her own beliefs and put her at odds with the city and its police force.

The Pitch: A pretty girl with a razor-sharp wit who can kick all kinds of butt, a bunch of angry ghosts, and an arsenal of fancy weapons, vehicles, and other sci-fi technology. What’s not to like about the big-screen potential of this story?

Like “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” mixed with a healthy dose of “Blade Runner,” this story is a nice blend of cyberpunk and gritty investigative elements flavored with enough science-fiction and fantasy to keep things interesting and fresh. Steve Pugh and the story’s original creator, Warren Ellis, have created a rich character in Alice Hotwire that’s more than just the standard hacker archetype, all snark and style. Much like Lisbeth Salander in the Dragon Tattoo novels, Alice has very real flaws and vulnerabilities that make her moments of confident, ass-kicking action that much more memorable.

With the first, four-issue volume of Hotwire, titled “Requiem For The Dead,” there’s also a nicely encapsulated story arc that serves well as an introduction and general narrative for a feature-length film. Despite running through four issues, it’s easy to see “Requiem for the Dead” formatted as a three-act story with a growing sense of spectacle that pays off with an exciting, effects-heavy, action-packed finale.

Given the right combination of director and a creative team capable of bringing the visual elements of the story to life, it’s easy to see Hotwire manifest as a summer blockbuster-type production. Its futuristic London setting, the technology used the characters, and the costumes for Alice and supporting cast of police, victims, and ghosts all beg for a bit of slick, computer-generated shine and cyber-fueled style.

Casting Suggestions: Australian actress Emily Browning seems like a good fit for the role of Alice Hotwire, as she has a nice blend of sex appeal and action savvy — both of which are on display in “Sucker Punch.” If the studio opts to skew a little older for the role, Michelle Trachtenberg (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) is more than capable when it comes to dishing out Alice’s snark and holier-than-thou attitude, and the action elements of the role might be a good change of pace for the talented actress. It’s worth noting, though, that British actress Natalie Dormer (“The Tudors”) looks the most like Alice of all the actresses mentioned here and has more than enough talent to make the role her own.


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

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.

via GIPHY

It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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