Mark Millar talks new film projects
Mark Millar is appearing at the Glasgow Film Festival this year as well as some signing sessions in the city, and as part of that he's been doing the press rounds and in one of his interviews he revealed what projects he has moving into film just now, and it sounds like he's busier than ever.
He's also confirmed what film Matthew Vaughn looks set to make next, you might remember that it looked uncertain if he was going to direct Secret Service or Superior, well Millar might just have the answer.
That doesn't mean the other rumoured film projects are dead, it seems that Superior, Nemesis and a Wanted (Filmstalker review) sequel are all in various stages of development, but it does look like these three projects are definitely happening.
Millar has talked about these projects before, and people have lambasted him and accused him outright of lying about projects that were going to be made into films and weren't, well development can be a long road and it doesn't matter how long that road is if the film gets made, and right now I think people are believing what he says a lot more, after all he is becoming the man who is bridging the gap between comic books and film adaptations.
To be fair it helps when you have excellent directors on the projects, but at the same time his material is very cinematic and appeals to audiences, and the key to these projects has been the involvement of Millar, directors who appreciate the source work, and the fact that the adaptations haven't actually been direct adaptations of completed works. He's allowed the ideas to go to diverge from comic and film and each has become their own entity, to great success. There's not a need for the film to be exactly the same as the comic book, in particular I'm thinking of Wanted (Filmstalker review) here where the script was being written from the same idea that the comic series was.
Anyway, it does look like we're going to be seeing more of his work adapted from the page or from his ideas anyway, and with Matthew Vaughn doing Secret Service it promises something rather exciting. Millar describes the story this way:
"I am a massive Bond fan and Secret Service is like My Fair Lady meets James Bond. I am halfway through the comic and Matthew (Vaughn) and I are halfway through the script. There is a good role for a 50-something actor to play an older gentleman spy training this young kid. There are not a lot of tough actors in that age group but you would never believe Colin Firth or Hugh Grant in a fight scene. We are bouncing names around."
That said, Colin Firth would be a great turn in a role like that. Don't think he could do it? Watch something like Trauma (Filmstalker review) to see a Firth you might not have expected to see, and remember that he was being looked at for the Oldboy (Filmstalker review) remake.
I'm looking forward to what Vaughn and Millar can bring out in Secret Service, although American Jesus is also a project that sounds interesting, but just because they are the ones announced as in the works doesn't rule out a Superior film. Still, American Jesus sounds a hell of a project to get off the ground, especially in America. Here are a few comments about the project that Millar gives in the article:
"A film about the returned Jesus Christ has amazing artistic potential. Jesus shows up in the middle of the financial crisis, America is in turmoil and the Eurozone is collapsing. They are quite apocalyptic times that we are living in with the gap between rich and poor...
...It is the reverse of the Omen, which is about a kid who finds out he is the anti-Christ. This is a kid who finds out he is Jesus Christ."
There are pitfalls galore there, especially for Mark Millar, after all you have a certain view of the man from his work don't you, but that view could lead you to the wrong idea about the project and this is maybe why the idea is in development as a film because it might just work.
"I am a Catholic and go to mass. A lot of people are surprised because much of my work is irreverent and expect the same with American Jesus. But I want it to be a beautiful film...If you are doing a movie about the return of Jesus as the Bible prophesied in the Book of Revelation, you have got to do it straight and treat it with dignity. I’m not taking the p***. It will be treated like a proper film."
Still, that sounds risky, especially in America, and I'm surprised there are studios willing to take the project on.
For those of you who want to find out more about the man and his projects he's at the Glasgow Film Festival this year with an appearance this afternoon talking about writing for comics, later tonight he's also presenting a screening of Flash Gordon with a pre-film discussion about the film, and on the 1st of March he's signing copies of Superior in HMV in Glasgow.