Five Stories That Need Darker Adaptations
Sometimes, an adaptation of a work demands a heavy, somber hand. We’ve seen what too much lightness can do to movie. There’s Batman and Robin with its multitude of campy villains and rubber nipples. Then there’s just about every terrible Marvel adaptation from before 2000. There’s even the Fantastic Four. Fortunately, Marvel’s First Family is getting a reboot with Chronicle director Josh Trunk in charge. Hopefully, he can give it the Dark Knight treatment and perhaps even make it watchable. Here are a few other works that could benefit from a dark adaptation.
David Fincher’s The Green Lantern: The Green Lantern has a power ring that lets him create literally anything he can think of. Anything. So, what does he create in the movie? Various versions of bigger fists and guns. Oh, and a convoluted racecar that helps to let helicopters to the ground gently. Fincher’s Lantern, on the other hand, would focus on Hal Jordan and Sinestro’s relationship as they splinter apart, and show Carol Ferris as she is driven into becoming the insane Star Sapphire by his disinterest and her jealousy. Then again, that may be too much to ask of Blake Lively.
The Coen Brothers’ The Wolf: The perspective is shifted in this adaptation from the smug three little pigs to the poor, desperate wolf. No director can portray desperate men being shaped and moved by powers way out of their control like the Coen Brothers. Think of the Wolf like Barton Fink or Larry Gopnik from A Serious Man. This is a creature that only wishes to speak with these pigs, and instead they build whole houses to avoid him, and eventually shut him out entirely. All the Wolf knows is failure. It’s a perfect marriage between fairy tale and directors. Or, they can just adapt the classic children’s book The True Story of the Three Little Pigs.
Joss Whedon’s The Little Mermaid: It's a horror romance featuring the Mermen from The Cabin in the Woods. Ariel is rewritten as a warrior who falls for a human while out hunting. Her human is captured by the Mermen and it is her duty to rescue him. She cuts through their ranks, aided by Sebastian, the crab with a machine gun.
Lena Dunham’s Archie: The kids of Riverdale haven’t changed much over the past seventy years, and their readership has suffered for it. In this darkly comedic reimagining, the Girls creator and Tiny Furniture director Lena Dunham writes, directs, and stars in this story as Archie and the gang move back to Riverdale after college, jobless and adrift in their relationships. The troubles start when Mr. and Mrs. Andrews decide to stop supporting Archie, and force him to move out.
Peter Jackson’s The Hulk: In The Avengers, the Hulk finally had his moment in the sun. After two movies, we felt like we knew nothing about the character, and after playing a bit part in The Avengers, we feel like we know everything. That’s thanks to Mark Ruffalo’s low-key portrayal of Bruce Banner, a man with an eternal inner turmoil. Ang Lee’s Hulk was too self-consciously comic book-like and Louis Leterrier’s Incredible Hulk was far too generic. Jackson has made us love a monster before with King Kong and Gollum, and has shown his dramatic chops in The Lovely Bones and Heavenly Creatures.
What other series could benefit from the darker reboot?
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