BOOM studios announced last week that they had signed a major deal with Fox- that allows them the rights to produce comic books based on anything owned by Fox, but at the same time also allows Fox to produce anything currently owned by BOOM studios. Not only is this a massive move by BOOM studios to get some of their creator owned work onto the big screen, and the television screen but it also changes the comic book adaptation industry- as the deal shares first dollar gross on movies 50-50 between publisher and creator a move not seen by either of the big two companies. This really is another first, from the company who also introduced same day digital downloads in January 2008 before any other company.
However despite that, the most exciting prospect is the wealth of new material that Fox can get their hands on to produce live action/animated features of. With Fox already having produced the summer hit 2Guns starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, from a comic property owned by BOOM studios and having ‘Rust’ a live action story about a robot adventure already in the pipeline it begs the question what comes next?
Here’s my run down of what Fox should be looking at getting onto our screens in one form or another:
Original cover art
Giant Monster- this was short two-part story written by Steve Niles with art work from Nat Jones. the book followed astronaut Don Maggert’s first space flight which swallows him alive in the grip of an intergalactic horror, transforming him into something that throws the entire planet into peril! This was a great story that contained some immense monster sized action- very reminiscent of the recent Kaiju monster revival and would really work on the big screen. The story was well written, as expected from Niles and contained enough content to really get you engaged in more than the action pieces. If this was translated to the big screen, I would really expect to see it pack in the audience, this movie could also have a real old school movie monster feel about it- and if it had ‘Pacific Rim’ level production and costs could also look amazing. Keep Niles on board as a producer (similar to 30Days of Night) and keep the tone fairly adult and this could be just as good if not a better movie than the first 30Days of Night was- and do wonders for the reputation of BOOM studios work.
Super Hero Turned Villian
Irredeemable- this is an ongoing series written by Mark Waid that asks the question ‘What happens if the worlds greatest superhero becomes a super villain?’ and has won multiple Eisner and Harvey awards for its stellar work. The story focuses on a character named the ‘Plutonian’ and tells the tale of how he comes to use his powers for villainy rather than good. This could work really well as a weekly show- think about a ‘Heroes-eques’ show with a really deep story that continues to evolve while remaining engrossing and well plotted storylines, while really showcasing the super powers on offer. This could easily be the showcase of BOOM studios on screen work, as the story telling is amazing, and the content is now more accessible to people than 5years ago due to the super hero boom thats been generated by the big two companies success on the screen.If BOOM dont want to do this on TV- then i see absolutely no reason that this franchise couldnt be seen on the big silver screen in the next 5years.
Book one of the series
Mouse Guard- this is the oddest entry on the list, and not just due to the content. But Mouse Guard is published by Archea publishing, who were recently brought by BOOM studios- so this would technically make the property available for Fox. Mouse Guard is another Eisner winning series that is as famous for its Bi-Monthly tales as it is its form- its a fully square format in a world of landscape comics. And that uniqueness leads itself well to the story- In the world of Mouse Guard, mice struggle to live safely and prosper amongst harsh conditions and a host of predators. Thus the Mouse Guard was formed: more than just soldiers, they are guides for common mice looking to journey without confrontation from one village to another. They see to their duty with fearless dedication so that they may not simply exist, but truly live. Mouse Guard has the potential to be a brilliant animated series- to stay true to the original artwork, and could really bring in the viewers. The only concern would be if they tailored the content to be more child friendly- but when you look at the ‘Clone Wars’ series you really see ho well this can work and transcend age barriers so even adults watch the show. As a live action movie im not sure it would work- but as a live action series with the right special effects make-up team i know it could.
So those are my picks for where BOOM studios should go next- but whatever they do next, getting this deal will change the comic industries outlook on paying and looking after their creators.