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Adapt This: “The Cross Bronx” by Ivan Brandon and Michael Avon Oeming

the cross bronx

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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 Cross Bronx by Ivan Brandon and Michael Avon Oeming

The Premise: Detective Rafael Aponte thought he’d seen it all, but when a local gang is slaughtered by a mysterious killer, the investigation leads him to question everything he knows about justice, religion, and what we know about the world around us.

The Pitch: Like a great episode of “NYPD Blue” filtered through a horror movie, The Cross Bronx is the perfect balance of crime drama and supernatural mystery, and manages to straddle the line between the two genres masterfully enough to attract fans of both types of stories. While both genres are wildly popular on television these days, The Cross Bronx actually has some legitimate potential on the big screen, offering a complete story that draws from the best elements of horror and police procedurals.

Despite the supernatural angle, there’s little need for the heavy effects that can make horror movies an expensive undertaking, since the story relies more on its gritty urban vibe than any paranormal elements to establish its tone. Creators Ivan Brandon and Michael Avon Oeming have also done a nice job of developing both the main character, Rafael Aponte, as well as the story’s supporting cast, and there are some meaty roles with room to expand in the right actors’ hands.

To its credit, The Cross Bronx feels like it’s been written with an adaptation in mind, with the pacing and story structure of a three-act production — so the leap to the big screen should be fairly painless. Ideally, a filmmaker would focus on the darker, urban crime elements of the story, making each glimpse of the real killer in the story that much more eye-catching and memorable.

Casting Suggestions: It’s easy to throw out Edward James Olmos’ name as an actor who’d be perfect for the role of grizzled veteran detective Rafael Aponte, but with Hollywood usually preferring a younger-skewing lead, someone like Javier Bardem or Benicio Del Toro could bring the star power (and skeptical squint) that the character deserves. Of course, Jimmy Smits is also an option, though his time on “NYPD Blue” might make this role a little too appropriate.

More than anything else, the actor portraying Det. Aponte should have a clear connection to the latino community, as that aspect of the character plays a big role in the series.

Would “The Cross Bronx” 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

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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

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