Wow, the big news this week is about the TV show Veronica Mars getting revived thanks to the crowd sourcing platform Kickstarter. Basically, show runner Rob Thomas and star Kristen Bell thought they would take a gamble on their fans to try to help make a movie based on the once popular television program about a young girl who moonlighted as a private investigator for her dad.
When Thomas pitched a script, Warner Bros. refused to finance a movie and it looked like the idea was dead. The goal of Thomas and Bell was to raise $2 million to shoot the movie from their fans, but said anything extra could help them do some pretty cool things with the project. To say they succeeded is an understatement. In four hours, the fans donated $1 million. In eight hours, the Veronica Mars Kickstarter project met its $2 million goal. There is still 28 days to go on the project and they have already raised $3.3 million.
With that success story, it is almost unthinkable what other projects fans could help get made that the studios have no desire to fund. Here in this column, I'm gonna look at what comic books I would love to see get crowd funded with a couple of rules in place:
1. Only Kickstarter funds would be used, so it shouldn't be able to have multi-million dollar effects. However, I am of the belief that good practical effects can be done cheaply with great effects gurus and that amazing CGI can also be accomplished with solid individuals who work MUCH cheaper than the guys at ILM.
2. I'm pretending for the sake of my list that studios like Marvel and Warner Bros. and Fox would produce the movies despite owning the rights to the characters. This is just fantasy thinking here.
3. It needs to work as a standalone movie. I'd love to see stuff like Preacher and 100 Bullets, but those need to be TV shows, not movies.
So, here we go.
Let's start off with a sequel to Dredd. This movie hit theaters in 2012 and made a grand total of $13.4 million in the United States, which made it a huge failure based on its $50 million budget. Take a look at that budget one more time. Now, take this into consideration: The Raid: Redemption had a budget of $1.1 million. While it only made $4.1 million in the United States, that made it a huge success based on its budget. Dredd made three-times what The Raid: Redemption made, and that tells me that a crowd sourced Dredd sequel, especially if Karl Urban returned for the role, could make a profit if the budget was kept under control. It isn't as hard as you would think to create Dredd's world using real locations and CGI. The most important thing is the story and the action. As The Raid proved, both of those can be accomplished on the cheap.
I really enjoyed Keanu Reeves' Constantine movie for dumb, fun entertainment, but I freely admit that is not what the character of John Constantine is all about. The story needs to be dark, gothic and full of dread and evil. This is a movie that could be made perfectly on a low budget, with practical monster effects and a good use of lighting and technical know-how. I would love to see Constantine brought to the screen the way he deserves to be, and after talking to D-Rock recently, agree that someone like David Tennant could be perfect in the role, and he comes a whole lot cheaper than Keanu Reeves.
What I want here is simple. I want Thomas Jane to bring his version of The Punisher to the big screen. He knows what fans want, and he knows that none of the three movies have given it to them (with the War Zone version coming the closest). Thomas Jane wants it, the reaction from fans after his guerilla short film seems to show that they want it, and I think Kickstarter could raise the funds for it in a snap if Marvel gave the okay.
Here is why:
Heroes for Hire
Forget about any iteration of Heroes for Hire outside of Power Man and Iron Fist. I want a movie with Luke Cage and Danny Rand and their iconic Heroes for Hire protection agency. This could be awesome if done right and could be made on the cheap. Give us a little of Luke Cage's origin story and then show how he and Danny meet. Have them end up working together to help someone, and then at the end of the film have them open the actual business, with the sign on the front of the building. Want to know what I would do to make this on the cheap to allow for a Kickstarter program to work? I would make it as an exploitation film. You have the blaxploitation of Luke Cage, the kung-fu of Iron Fist and the dirty streets of New York. I don't know if Marvel would like the exploitation aspects, but that would make Heroes for Hire a great movie project.
Finally, I want to see Joe Carnahan make his version of Daredevil. Basically, the story here is that Carnahan was talking to Fox about his idea of Daredevil taking place in the Martin Scorsese '70s in the dark, dingy alleys of Hell's Kitchen before NYC got its Disney makeover. His idea was to take Daredevil back to the streets and show him how Frank Miller wrote him back in the glory days of the hero. Then Fox chose to let the rights elapse and Marvel got the property back. I am in the minority of the people who liked Affleck's Daredevil movie, but I am also in the majority of those who felt that the director's cut is what made it good. However, I want to see Carnahan's version and see no reason why he couldn't make it with Kickstarter funds if Marvel gave him the go ahead.
Check out his sizzle reel:
First, let's get last week's obvious blowout out of the way. While Firestorm could destroy the entire planet if he wanted to, Professor X has the power to mess with his mind, and since he has two minds in there, Xavier could completely mess Firestorm up before the fight ever gets started. You guys agreed and Xavier won 858-177.
In one of the closest matchups, the Princess Wonder Woman beat the God Captain Marvel, 558-472. While Marvel is all-powerful, and rivals Superman who is the only person who can realistically match his strength, Wonder Woman might be able to use her brains against Marvel and cause Billy Batson to appear, beating him that way. That's my guess, at least.
In the battle of muscle, you guys picked steel over gamma radiation and voted that Colossus would beat She-Hulk in a fight, 629-385.
In one of the most argued in the comment section, Wolverine beat Iron Man, 697-361. It was a big victory, and while some claimed the only way Wolverine could win was in a fist fight, others countered that Stark's ego would lead to his downfall.
On to this week's matchups.
2013 March 29 - G.I. Joe: Retaliation
April 12 - The Evil Dead
May 3 - Iron Man 3
May 17 - Star Trek: Into Darkness
June 14 - The Man of Steel
June 21 - World War Z
June 28 - Kick-Ass 2
June 12 - Pacific Rim
July 3 - The Lone Ranger
July 19 - R.I.P.D.
July 26 - The Wolverine
August 2 - Red 2
August 2 - 300: Rise of an Empire
August 6 - Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
September 6 - Riddick
September 13 - I, Frankenstein
September 13 - Machete Kills
October 4 - Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
October 25 - The World's End
November 1 - Ender's Game
November 8 - Thor 2: The Dark World
November 22 - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
December 13 - The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
2014 April 4 - Captain America: The Winter Soldier
May 2 - The Amazing Spider-Man 2
July 18 - X-Men: Days of Future Past
August 1 - Guardians of the Galaxy
2015 March 6 - Fantastic Four
May 1 - The Avengers 2
November 6 - Ant-Man