It seems like most major Hollywood studios are scouring area comic book stores, constantly looking for the next The Dark Knight, Iron Man, and Spiderman. Comic book films have become major money makers, and we all know that money is really what Hollywood is all about. So these are exciting times for comic book geeks like myself. Studios are showing a willingness to turn even the most obscure comic titles into major motion pictures. The latest title to be picked up for the big screen treatment is the DC-Vertigo book “The Losers.” I am very familiar with this book, and I’ve always thought that the story would make a great movie plot. The fine folks over at Warner Brothers and Silver Pictures apparently feel the same way. They have taped Silvain White to direct.
While Mr. White does not have a lot of experience directing movies on a grand scale such as this one would be, he has become somewhat of a “hot name” recently, having been tapped to direct the big screen adaptation of the classic video game franchise Castlevania. His previous directorial experience has been on Quiet, I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer, and Stomp the Yard. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for this one, because I really want The Losers to be good. I feel the same way about Castlevania, a film that I believe could re-launch the vampire genre into the hearts of horror fans, as opposed to the hearts and minds of 10-17 year old girls. But I digress. I understand that “The Losers” was not a big title, so many of you may not know anything about it. The series is a long running one, with loads of potential story lines, and numerous “endings” for the movie writers to choose from. The Vertigo series differs from the previous versions, and since the announcement of this project included Vertigo, it is safe to assume that a majority of the films plot will center around the events of that series. Here is what I think you should know:
Upon America’s entry into the European theatre of the Second World War, a Special Forces group composed of personnel from all branches of the armed forces was formed. The members were Captain William Storm, a former PT Boat commander with a wooden leg and an eye-patch; Johnny Cloud of the U.S. Army Air Force, known as “The Navajo Ace”; Sarge Clay, one of the oldest serving Marines, and Gunner Mackey, one of the youngest. Because each member had suffered the deaths of personnel under their command for which they felt responsible, they dubbed themselves The Losers. The group served in Europe, Africa and the Pacific. They had become an Elite Special Forces Unit. The series was originally set in the World War II era, but it is safe to assume that they will modernize the story, probably setting the conflict in the middle east, similar to what was done with Iron Man. Here is an official line on the series for which the film will be based: “Once an elite U.S. Special Forces unit, the Losers served as the covert bloody hand of America until they stumbled across a C.I.A. secret they couldn’t ignore. The C.I.A. tried to kill them, but they’re about to learn that it takes more than one try to eliminate the Losers.”
The story can be easily adapted to our times, and it will feel relevant. There are so many different ways they can go with this film in terms of tone. Personally, I would like to see this film end up as a dark and gritty “Jason Bourne-esque” type film, with a touch of Man on Fire. Now that’s what I call a recipe for success!
Not too much is known about the project right now. Word is that Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen and t.v’s Grey’s Anatomy) is in negotiations to star as the lead character Clay, the leader of The Losers whose signature style is black suits with no tie. An awesome look, very imposing, very threatening! Hopefully negotiations with Morgan will work out, because he is currently shooting The Resident and there could be some scheduling issues. I find that Morgan’s character in Watchmen is excellent preparation for his potential role as Clay. All indications are that Morgan nailed his role as the Comedian, and if that is true, he can nail Clay. I’m excited by this news!
The only other news we know is that it’s being financed by Dark Castle Entertainment, with Dark Castle’s Joel Silver producing, along with Weed Road’s Akiva Goldsman and Kerry Foster. Peter Berg and James Vanderbilt are working on the script. At this time, there is not even an estimated release date, but the way this project is picking up steam, I’d guess that it could be released some time in late 2010, early 2011. All that, of course, depends on how Warner Brothers plans on marketing the film, be it a summer blockbuster or more of an October/November release. I for one am very excited about this news. I think The Losers has franchise potential, and it could really end up being a powerful new “spy/action/thriller” type film. You can bet that as news develops, I will keep you posted!