Top 10 Most Wanted Comic Book Adaptations

For the last couple years, comic book adaptations and especially superhero movies have proven to be huge box office gold. Yet still, there is a whole bunch of other graphic novels/comic books that would definitely deserve a chance at the big screen.

The following list represents my top 10 most wanted comic book adaptations. While some of them are very likely to happen, others are either too risky to sell for Hollywood or are just forever stuck in development hell.

by Fabian Nicieza & Rob Liefeld

Hands down the funniest comic book super"hero" out there. He is called the "merc with a mouth" for a reason. Constantly spitting out jokes, wisecracks, pop-culture references and more quotable lines to count, Deadpool is one of a kind. Like Wolverine, Wade Wilson was part of the Weapon X program. In the course of several comics he encountered probably every other Marvel character there is. Deadpool blurrs the line between good and bad. Making him a perfect charismatic anti-hero/villain.

Being one of my all-time favorite comic characters, one would wonder why i put this only at number 10. Well, as you might know there is a certain movie called "X-Men Origins: Wolverine". This X-Men movie featured probably the lousiest, most disgraceful, stupid as fuck way possible. Not only didn't they get the looks and character of Deadpool, but they took away Deadpool's most important aspect...his mouth. Towards the end of the movie Deadpool gets disfigured and gets his mouth sewn shut. FUCK YOU MOVIE!

Logically, i am very concerned about how Hollywood would continue treating this character. If "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" would've never happened. My hopes would be much higher.


by Matt Wagner

Grendel (or Hunter Rose) could be described as some kind of reverse version of Bruce Wayne/Batman. While also being rich, Hunter Rose is a youthful genius who wrote novels by day and ran a criminal empire by night, assassinating several of his opponents with quite some style.

Basically being an anti-hero version of a Batman-Ninja alone would make a movie adaptation very interesting. Just like "The Dark Knight", the movie would blend crime movie with comic book movie into a great mix.

Despite the fact that in the course of the comics there are many different characters who one after another take on the role of Grendel, the movie should definitely focus on Hunter Rose. He was the most interesting and the most stylish of the bunch.


by William Gibson

"Neuromancer" originally started as a standalone novel by William Gibson and continued its success in a series of following novels resulting in a trilogy. However, there was a highly praised graphic novel adaptation making this one count.

 The novel tells the story of a washed-up computer hacker hired by a mysterious employer to pull off the ultimate hack.

Overall, "Neuromancer" turns out to be a much better verson of an infamous movie called "Johnny Mnemonic". Anyone who saw that movie has to agree that the basic premise had quite some potential but just went overboard by a lousy execution.

In this regard, "Neuromancer" is one of the finest sci-fi hacker stories out there. A Blader Runner-ish style would fit this world perfectly resulting in Ridley Scott being probably the best pick for a director. (Unfortunately "Prometheus" still sucks -.-). And with "Neuromancer" being the first book of the so called "Sprawl Trilogy", there is quite some room for sequels.

Anyway, the hope on "Neuromancer" isn't lost. There still is no definitive hacker movie ("Matrix" doesn't count). This one could be it.


The Dark Knight Returns
by Frank Miller

After "The Spirit" we all know that Frank Miller is very talented in making comics but NOT in making movies. Yet still, one cannot deny the impact that "The Dark Knight Returns" has had on the comic book world. Often praised as "the darkest Batman tale in existence" it fits the DARK knight perfectly.

"The Dark Knight Returns" tells the story of a 55-year-old Bruce Wayne who comes out of retirement to fight crime, only to face opposition from the Gotham City police force and the United States government.

Obviously, Hollywood didn't touch this comic book because having a 55-year-old Batman in such a dark story turned out to be very difficult for them to market. Still, this is one helluva story that would fit nicely into a a feature movie and is quite easily adaptable.

One can only hope for an adaptation (without Frank Miller) after the Nolan era of the Dark Knight is done.


 Spider-Man 2099
by Peter David & Rick Leonardi

After the completely unnecessary reboot of the Spiderman franchise with "The Amazing Spider-Man", it's understandable that fans of the webswinger have grown tired of hearing the same origin story with the same characters all over again. Why not try something new? IN THE FUTUUUUURE!

His secret alter ego is Miguel O' Hara, a brilliant geneticist living in New York in the year 2099 A.D. who is attempting to recreate the abilities of the original Spider-Man in other people and later suffers a related accident that causes half his DNA to be re-written with a spider's genetic code.

A movie adaptation of a futuristic Spider-Man would have made a great "reboot" for the franchise. It not only would have completely new characters (the first Spider-Man that is a Latino!), it would have featured futuristic version of well-known Spider-man villains like a female Doctor Octopus, a cybernetic Hobgoblin, etc.

I don't know if Sony's rights to the Spider-Man franchise allow them to adapt "Spider-Man 2099", but if they do, they should take advantage of that.


by Art Spiegelman

Being the first graphic novel to ever win a Pulitzer Prize. There is a very powerful story told in this comic.

In "Maus", Spiegelman interviews his father about his experiences as a Polish Jew and Holocaust survivor.
The book makes use of postmodern techniques in its presentation, most strikingly in its depiction of different races of humans as different kinds of animals, with Jews as mice, Germans as cats and Poles as pigs. It has been difficult to classify, sometimes being labeled memoir, biography, history, fiction, autobiography, or a mix of genres.

A movie adaptation would basically be some kind of mixture between "Schindler's List" and "The Fantastic Mr. Fox". Computer animation would do well but a more fitting approach would be the puppeteering style of "The Fantastic Mr. Fox".
Obviously, such a movie would be very hard to market with heavy themes like the holocaust or WWII in general. Still, a movie adaptation would be very interesting and make this great graphic novel more accessable to the masses.


Batman Beyond
by Warner Bros. Animation

Pretty much the same case as with "Spiderman 2099". The question remains what will happen with Batman after the Nolan era is done? An uninspired reboot that quite probably wouldn't hold a candle to Nolan's "Dark Knight Trilogy" wouldn't be the right thing to do if you ask me. Why not try something very different so it doesn't backfire? Either "The Dark Knight Returns" OR "Batman Beyond".

Originally "Batman Beyond" was an animated television series that spawned a short series of comics, depicting the teenager Terry McGinnis as a new Batman in a futuristic Gotham City under the guidance and training of an elderly Bruce Wayne.

It was one of my favorite TV shows when i was a kid. It had a Batman with a completely different style and sci-fi gadgets, new villains, as well as old "updated" ones.

If there is anything else than a reboot that they want to do with the franchise, this would be one great alternative.


Spawn: Godslayer
by Brian Holguin & Todd McFarlane

Spawn is unfortunately one of those super-anti-heroes who get treated the wrong way. The first movie adaptation from 1997 featured horrible special effects and a lousy story to boot. Then there was the short-lived animated HBO television series that was much more true to the source material but which got cancelled and didn't get the attention it rightfully deserved.

While a reboot would be one way to revive the franchise on the big screen (and make it right this time), my favorite Spawn story was "Godslayer".

 The plot might be nothing great to write home about, but here is a short summary:

 "Spawn: Godslayer" is set in a world of epic fantasy. A mysterious warrior with a dark blade is waging war against the gods, killing them one by one.

 The protagonist is a warrior prince named Bairn from the island kingdom of Endra-La. During a naval battle, Bairn is wounded and thrown overboard. Sinking to the bottom of the sea and dying, Bairn says he would give anything to see his love, Neva, again. A mysterious, Lovecraftian entity answers his dying plea.
In exchange for saving Bairn, the entity makes the prince his undead servant and orders him to kill the gods of Ur. Neva, thinking that Bairn is dead, devotes herself to the temple of the goddess Llyra and eventually becomes her vessel. (source: Wikipedia)

 Overall, "Godslayer" would be a great movie for Zack Snyder to direct. Snyder is ridiculously bad at writing stories but very talented in adapting source material, especially comic based ones. Like "300", "Godslayer" has a simple plot with much much room for style. It's easily adaptable and would make a great enjoyable movie.


Ghost in the Shell
by Masamune Shirow

Thoughts about an adaptation of one of the best mangas/animes out there, "Ghost in the Shell", have been circulating in Hollywood for a long time. Most notably Steven Spielberg showed quite some interest in adapting the great sci-fi story around android detectives in a futuristic world.

Many people at least know about the anime adaptation of Masamune Shirows "Ghost in the Shell". Just like "Blade Runner" did years ago, "Ghost in the Shell" not only features a great sci-fi story but also pushes the right buttons to make us ask questions about life, what makes us human, and what happens if robots learn and discover emotions. Simultaneously, it would mix it with some impressive action scenes making it balance philosophy with action in the same way that "Matrix" did in 1999.

 It is unknown whether Steven Spielberg is still interested in the adaptation, but he would be a perfect fit for the director's chair.
Likewise, it is notable that James Cameron shows interest in a manga series similar to "Ghost in the Shell" called "Battle Angel". One can only hope that those adaptations get made. They truely deserve it.


by Garth Ennis & Steve Dillon

Hands down, my favorite comic book series. "Preacher" is like a hardcore version of "Dogma". Rightfully praised as one of the finest comic series out there, it might be not something for everyone but the ones who do like it, love it.

"Preacher" tells the story of Jesse Custer, a down-and-out preacher in the small Texas town of Annville. Custer was accidentally possessed by the supernatural creature named Genesis in an incident which killed his entire congregation and flattened his church.

 Genesis, the product of the unauthorized, unnatural coupling of an angel and a demon, is an infant with no sense of individual will. However, as it is composed of both pure goodness and pure evil, it might have enough power to rival that of God Himself. In other words, Jesse Custer, bonded to Genesis, may have become the most powerful being in the whole of living existence.
Custer, driven by a strong sense of right and wrong, goes on a journey across the United States attempting to (literally) find God, who abandoned Heaven the moment Genesis was born. He also begins to discover the truth about his new powers. They allow him, when he wills it, to command the obedience of those who hear and comprehend his words. He is joined by his old girlfriend Tulip O'Hare, as well as a hard-drinking Irish vampire named Cassidy.

 With several crazy ,often very hard-themed stories and numerous memorable, ridiculous, loveable and hateable (sometimes both) characters, "Preacher" honestly is very hard to put into one single movie without cutting it down excessively. Therefore, a trilogy or even better a television series would be a better choice.

 Interest in a "Preacher" adaptation exists for years now. Yet always plans for an adaptation have always been diminished by the fact that the comic series is extremely controversial, making it incredibly hard to market for companies without taking incredible risks. Yet still movies like "The Passion of Christ", "Dogma", "Boondock Saints" and several other religiously related killer movie with incredible violence have been released years ago. Why not this one?

 I would go nuts if a television series for "Preacher" would get greenlit. Especially with the success of "The Walking Dead", the companies should realize that sometimes accepting risks when adapting a violent but very well written comic book series into a TV series might eventually turn out to be one of the best choices ever. Nowadays, that violent TV series like "Game of Thrones" or "The Walking Dead" enjoy high praise and break several records. The chances for a "Preacher" adaptation aren't all that bad, i guess.

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