Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ramblings Of A Former Comic Nerd

With all the recent hype surrounding the Marvel Comics Universe, as well as reboots of popular franchises that have failed--or run out of steam in the past (The Incredible Hulk, Superman, Batman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, etc.)--I have been very adamant on my lobbying of a possible Howard the Duck update. Unfortunately, the majority's one and only exposure to this character was the disastrous and intended "family friendly" 1986 film by Willard Huyck. As a child, I loved this movie, if only because of its very blurry association to the 1970's cult comic book--a very limited run (30-something issues, plus a few miniseries), that is still among my favorites, to-date. In later years, I stumbled upon a VHS copy of the movie and promptly snatched it up, despite all the years worth of horrid reviews. As it turns out (and not necessarily in retrospect), the movie is among the worst I've ever seen, which brings me to this particular journal entry.

Why a reboot? The reasons are not entirely selfish. I believe that the irony of today's average audience would find Howard's story to be quite unique. A duck from an alternate reality who gets trapped on modern day Earth and, without any special powers to speak of, is still part of the Marvel canon. What's not to love?

I explained my crusade to Cousin Pete, the other night, while having beers on Jeff's back porch. While Pete may not have necessarily shared my enthusiasm for the original series, I do believe he appreciated my efforts to find the perfect director for the task. After a short discussion, we had decided on Guillermo del Toro, of Hellboy and The Devil's Backbone Fame. Not only is del Toro responsible for bringing comics to the big screen (see also, Blade), his dark vision, along with subtle humor and blend of social commentary would suit the new Duck franchise.

However, I Googled "Howard the Duck" and "reboot" this afternoon, and came across this little gem, typos and all:
Tim Burton's Howard the Duck, now listed under the official title, “Tim Burton's Howard the Duck”, should be ready to go by Christmas 2008, reported the Fortean Times.

Billed not as a sequel, but as a complete reboot of the cinematic adventures of one of the greatest comic characters of all time, Tim Burton's Howard the Duck promises to deliver characters and action on a scale not seen since the release of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy. “Howard is one of the most endearing characters of 20th century fiction,” producer Richard Zanuck, explained. “This is the story the public has been waiting for. The story of Tim Burton's Howard The Duck.”

“It's going to be a really exciting picture,” Burton said, explaining that the movie would be done with a unique blend of stop-motion animation and live action.

“Basically,” the world renowned Pop-Emo director explained, “we'll have the actors performing alongside the stop-motion Howard by having them move incredibly slowly. It's a very painstaking and difficult process, but when you see it all up on the screen, moving as fluidly as real life... Well, lets just say we're pretty sure that we're going to blow the critics away. In fact, we plan to blow their asses right off.”

The Duck, a combination of claymation and animatironics which bares an uncanny resemblance to the comic book icon, is said to have cost over 20 million dollars, and have over 30,000 independently moving pieces.

Staring with Howard will be the usual plethora of big-name Hollywood talents found in Tim Burton movies, including Helena Bonham Carter as Beverly Switzer, Johnny Depp as Turnip Man, and Jack Nicholson as Dr. Bong. Michael Keaton will be reprising his much-cherished role of Batman in what some are already calling “the most brutal and unnecessary death sequence in motion picture history.”

The voice of Howard will be provided by Shia LaBeouf, who is also in talks with Steven Spielberg to re-dub his original Howard the Duck movie. “It's already pretty clear that Shia is going to be the greatest actor of the next 80 years," Spielberg explained, "so why not just get used to it?”

Sadly, due to recent passing of Howard The Duck's original creator, Steve Gerber, credit for the creation of Howard will have to be given to Alan Moore. “I didn't agree to any of this,” Moore was quoted as saying, while chasing reporters off his porch with a large broom.

For the score, Tim Burton was heard to remark, “Eh, I dunno. I guess Elfman will just throw his usual shit together.”
The article, found on a website called "Comics 2 Film," is obviously a joke. Not only was I unable to find any similar news elsewhere, but the writer got the part about Steven Spielberg's involvement with the original film entirely wrong. Such a mistake might be dismissed if there weren't a supposed direct quote by the produce-director himself. For the record, it was George Lucas who was at the helm of the original disaster.

Jeez, has school started yet?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought the press release until about halfway through. Not that I know anything about Howard the Duck, mind you, other than you had to watch the movie everytime it came on HBO (thereby keeping me from watching reruns of Andy Griffith).


01 August, 2008  

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