Archive for the ‘Consumer Fiction’ Category

Now that Creed, the Rocky spinoff, has hit $100 million at the box office, I’m sure it will get a sequel or two. I’d be happy to see more Creed movies, and it got me thinking about what else they could spin off out of the Rocky franchise. Here are some of my ideas.

1. Ivan Drago.

My favorite idea for a Rocky spinoff is a feature film about Ivan Drago. I’ve always wondered what happened to him after Rocky beat him. The Soviet government propped him up as their hero, so what did they do after the fight? Did Drago get sent off to prison in Siberia as punishment for losing? Did his wife leave him? What happened to him after the Soviet Union collapsed? Did he ever have any health effects from the Soviets juicing him up? Does he ever box again? There’s a real intriguing story to be told here, and with the international box office growing more important to Hollywood, I think a Drago film could work. Years ago there was a Rocky Legends video game where you could actually play a Drago story mode that told some of his story before the events of Rocky IV, and I heard there’s some Rocky book that says he kept boxing after Rocky IV. These secondary sources usually don’t count once new movies come out (See the Star Wars expanded universe). I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. A Drago movie with flashbacks of his younger days and showing his life after Rocky would be very intriguing.

2. Clubber Lang

Rocky III and Rocky IV are almost the same movie if you think about it. I don’t think a Clubber Lang movie would be as interesting as a Drago movie, but they could both be like stories of redemption. The thing is in my mind I don’t imagine Clubber boxing anymore after Rocky III. So I don’t think a movie would work. Maybe a TV movie, where he falls on hard times, maybe goes to jail, (The same Rocky video game I mentioned before has a Lang story mode that opens with him in jail). Maybe we could have some boxing/fighting scenes in jail, then he finds god and seeks redemption. In Rocky III he harasses Adrian. Maybe this story ends with him apologizing to Rocky and Adrian, and with him praying with Adrian at her bedside as she’s dying of cancer (With possibly Mr. T himself playing an older Lang). That’s a TV movie I’d watch.

3. Tommy Gunn

Rocky V is everyone’s least favorite Rocky movie, this is true even for Stallone himself. The subsequent two Rocky films do just about nothing to acknowledge it even existed. Hence I don’t imagine Tommy “The Machine” Gunn will ever be on film again. However a comic book or even a novel could tell the Tyson-esque story of him and his corrupt promoter in the 1990s world of boxing (Maybe he fights Drago, or hell even Lang).

4. Mickey

For years I’ve said I always wanted to see a movie about a young Mickey, Rocky’s manager. The thing is this story absolutely has to be tragic and horrible. Mickey wasn’t famous or well known to the general public before he managed Rocky. He was a bitter broken down old man. He must have had a little success I guess if he ran a gym, but still. Given the nature of movies I don’t imagine them going this route, but given how beautifully violent and dark Netflix’s Daredevil and Jessica Jones shows were, I think a Mickey Netflix show is the way to go.

The Netflix show could be set in the 1930’s during the depression, in all it’s sad and brutal glory. We could see that fight where his opponent put a nail in the thumb of his boxing glove and Mickey gets holes poked in his cheeks. He could have some girl but she dies tragically (Evidently he never had children). You can’t have anything work out for this guy. If the show was successful  it could eventually bring him up to how he opened his gym. Maybe he manages some other guy but the guy doesn’t listen to him and he never succeeds, or maybe he ditches Mickey and has success. I’m a little leary  of this last part, but we could even see why he never bothers with a young Rocky Balboa when he first comes to his gym in the early 70s.

This leads me to my least favorite pick for a Rocky spinoff, but the one I think would be the most likely to happen.

5. A young Rocky Balboa TV show.

Rocky’s story begins with his Cinderella shot to fight Apollo Creed. There’s little to nothing of his story to tell before that. If they really wanted to they could tell the story of how he first met Pauli and Adrian. They could also show how Mickey dismissed him, but I think that story would better be told in a Mickey Netflix show. In my opinion this is too close to the events of the first film to have any real meaning, but given it’s the lead character of the franchise I can see them trying this someday.

Well, here’s to a Drago movie and a Mickey Netflix show.

What do you think? What would you like to see?

 

 

 

 

 

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During almost every year of the last decade there was at least one, and often three, movies based on Marvel Comics characters. As I’ve detailed here, this was because Marvel licensed out their characters to multiple studios, hence multiple projects were developed at once. Then of course Marvel started making their own movies, starting with Iron Man in 2008, but this time it was different, as their other movies like Hulk, Thor, and Captain America were all set in the same world and led up to Avengers. What if, before 2000, other studios had the same idea with Marvel characters? What could they have done? Here are three possibilities, plus one that’s kind of already happening.

  1. The Marvel Horror Movie-verse.

Potential Characters;

Blade, Ghost Rider, Werewolf by Night, Dr. Strange, Hellstorm, Man-Thing, Moon Knight.

While most point to 2000’s X-men as the beginning of the Marvel Age of movies, Blade came out in 1998, and was actually the first Marvel character to have a successful film. If a studio could have had the rights to Blade, along with other horror based characters like Ghost Rider, Dr. Strange etc., the characters could have teamed up for a Midnight Sons movie ala Avengers. It would have been interesting to see a Marvel film-verse with hard R rated characters. If they went that route, imagine if the same studio also had the rights to other horror characters and threw them in the mix, such as Hellraiser, and slasher films like Friday the 13th, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. A truly horrifying universe.

  1. Fantastic Four plus cosmic/space based characters.

Potential Characters;

Fantastic Four, Namor, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Inhumans, Guardians of the Galaxy, Adam Warlock, Nova, Silver Surfer.

Imagine an epic Fantastic Four movie with Dr. Doom as the big bad, whose plan involves an artifact from Atlantis and Vibranium from Wakanda. This introduces Namor and the Black Panther, who could spin off into their own movies. This would be the reverse method of Avengers, with the big movie first then spin-offs later. They could team up again for an Atlantis Attacks movie. Namor and Black Panther movies could explore Earth while the Fantastic Four could go off into space to meet the Inhumans, Captain Marvel, maybe even Guardians of the Galaxy. Eventually bring big g Galactus in, and we can finally get a Silver Surfer movie. Even crazier would be if Paramount Pictures was at the helm of this Marvel Cosmic movie-verse, and decided to cross Fantastic Four with Star Trek.

  1. Spiderman and street level/New York based heroes.

Potential Characters,

Spiderman, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Punisher, Master of Kung Fu, Silver Sable, Venom, Black Cat.

It would be fun to see Spiderman team with some NY heroes to fight the Kingpin and the Sinister Six. Throw in Silver Sable for some international adventures and you’ve got some fun stuff here.

I mention this one last because it’s sort of happening already and that’s X-men. At the time of this writing, a Wolverine sequel as well as a First Class sequel is coming soon. Who knows what future installments will bring, but I’d often thought what if they planned to branch out from the beginning. The first trilogy could have set up Days of Future Past; the dark alternate future where sentinels rule the earth (Like Terminator, but this was first. Crossover anyone?). Whole films could have spun out of that starring Bishop, etc., while simultaneously starting the First Class prequels, the Wolverine series, etc.

Consequently I always thought setting the X-men films in the near future was a big mistake. It wasn’t necessary, and given that Magneto’s WWII ties were kept intact, that would mean that, depending on how far ahead you mean by the near future, Magneto could be 100 years old in those movies. Anyway, the First Class spinoff was great, and I hope it’s sequel as well as the new Wolverine is too. If this series wanted to it could even go into space with a Starjammers picture.

Interestingly enough, while Fox continues this franchise, it is also rebooting their Fantastic Four series so they don’t lose the rights to Marvel. At the time of this writing I have no idea if this is a standalone film, or if it will indeed be part of the X-men’s film world. I assume it will be its own thing, but the possibility is there. If Fox Studios would combine the two franchises (and they both have outer-space characters), they could indeed have their own Marvel Cinematic Universe to rival the one Marvel is making in house.  

It’s also interesting to consider the possibilities for tie in products; in continuity comics, video games (The Captain America video game is in canon with the MCU), TV shows, etc. Would it have been confusing for fans? I don’t know if it would have, there were several separate movie worlds as it was, most of them just had one or a small set of heroes. What would have made it work is what makes it work now; they’re similar but not exactly the same. One set could have been straight horror, the other hard science fiction, another more street level stories, and the last a mix of several things.

It would have been fun, but oh well. What do you think?

Marvel Studio’s upcoming film slate of Iron Man II, (2010) Thor (2011) and Captain America (2011) will lead up to the Avengers (Featuring all three characters and probably the Hulk) in 2012.

Marvel’s movie universe began in 2008 with Iron Man and the Hulk. The Marvel spy group SHIELD appeared in both movies. “The Avengers Initiative” was mentioned in Iron Man’s post credit scene. Hulk had references to Captain America, and Tony Stark/Iron Man appeared at the end. This is the first time a shared film universe was made from the ground up. There are other shared film worlds, but they werent initially designed to be such. The four I know of are;

Universal Monsters

Universal Studios was famous for its Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), and Wolfman (1941) movies. 1943 saw the movie Frankenstein meets Wolfman, and the two met Dracula in 1944s House of Frankenstein and 1945s House of Dracula. Universal made other movies like the Invisible Man, Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Mummy, and the Hunchback of Notre Dame. They are also considered Universal monsters, but during that time never met Dracula, Wolfman, or Franksenstein.

The three monsters met in various media throughout the decades, including a failed attempt to start a franchise with 2004s Van Helsing movie. In 2010 a remake of Wolfman also flopped. No further re-makes have been announced. A horror based film universe with these characters would have been cool.

Godzilla

The Godzilla franchise started in 1954. He once fought King Kong, and met Rodan and Mothra, prior to which both monsters had their own movies.

Also included in the Godzilla-verse are characters from the following Japanese monster/science fiction movies;

Atragon
Battle in Outer Space
Dogora
Frankenstein Conquers the World
Gorath
The Mysterians
Space Amoeba
Varan the Unbelievable
The War in Space

Friday the 13th/Nightmare on Elm Street.

In the 80s the Friday the 13th  and Nightmare on Elm Street franchises were developed by Paramount and New Line. The two companies actually planned a crossover at the time, but plans fell through. New Line acquired the F13 rights and made Jason Goes to Hell in 1993. At the end of that movie Freddys gloved hand is seen reaching out of the ground, and his laugh is heard. The two officially met in 2003s Freddy vs Jason. The timelines from both films are presumed to have merged. Two comic book mini-series served as sequels and included Ash from the Evil Dead series. Also of note is that various supporting characters from F13 and NOES films appear in the second comic book crossover.

Aliens vs Predator

Though they fought in comics and video games for years, the two monsters didnt meet on the silver screen until 2004. A sequel followed in 2007, but since then its been announced that both creatures are each getting another solo movie. Again, like Freddy vs Jason, it can be assumed that both timelines are one. That doesnt matter too much as the Alien series took place in the future, and the Predator movies were in the present. AVP was the first movie where Aliens appeared in the present day.

Now lets take a look at the three shared film worlds I think could be possible.

Hasbro-verse.

Hasbro, between its own properties, and the properties of other companies it bought since the 80s, owns a large number of franchises. These franchises cover many genres from military action, to hard science fiction, fantasy, etc. It’s most famous properties are Transformers and G.I. Joe. Lesser known characters that could fit with those two include Inhumanoids, Go-bots, and M.A.S.K. Other properties they own that wouldnt fit as well, but could be whole film series themselves include Dungeons and Dragons, Magic the Gathering,  and Alternity. They also own more obscure 80’s toy properties like Sectaurs, Visionaries, and Silverhawks.

Transformers and G. I. Joe of course have their own films now, but they all could have, or could still meet in the future.

The Slasher-verse.

Take Freddy vs Jason up a notch. New Line also owns Texas Chainsaw Massacre. If they got the rights to Halloween, (which was rumored at one point) there could be one cool fright filled world. Throw in others like Pumpkinhead, Chucky, and something to tie them together like Hellraiser and you’ve got a truly disturbing universe.

DC Comics film world.

Weve all spent years wondering why this hasnt happened yet. No point in rehashing it again.

I’ve been out of touch with video games for a while, but last year I played the Smackdown vs Raw series. (07-09) In the story modes of these games you can choose to be on Smackdown or Raw, you can switch brands, and there are stories with cross brand rivalry. ECW is also in the mix in the 08 and 09 versions. Being new to me it got my wheels turning to an idea I’d become obsessed with. What if they made a Monday Night Wars video game?

(The Monday Night Wars was when WCW aired Monday Night Nitro head to head against WWE’s Raw. It began in 1995 and ended in 2001, when WWE bought WCW)

Imagine a game with every wrestler, gimmick, TV personality, TV Show, announcer, match type, PPV, etc, that aired on WCW and WWE from 9/95 to 2001, with maybe a few things after 01 as well. It would also include the entirety of ECW. Triple cage matches, multi-ring battle royals, World War Three matches, etc. What a game that would be!

I see the game broken down by different eras for each company. For example, WCW would start with the pre-NWO era, from 9/95 to 96’s Bash at the Beach. The next era would be NWO, then NWO Wolfpac, then New Blood/Millionaires, or something like that.

The game modes for each era would be like  games we have now, Story mode, championship modes for the various singles and tag belts, and a career mode. I always wanted to see a stable mode where your group must get the world title, tag titles, and one secondary belt. This mode would have some story, as you have to keep the stable together and maybe recruit and fire members. A separate Stable Challenge would be a Survivor Series, World War 3, type match against other stables.

Career mode would be pretty sophisticated. You pick one wrestler, and choose a company to start in, WCW, WWE, or ECW. Your goal is to win the world titles in all three companies. Secondary goals are to win at all the PPV and match types of each company, and finally to simply survive the Monday Night Wars. This could also be like a role playing game where you have to train your character, develop different skills, avoid injury, and make money to buy other unlocked characters, PPVs, match types, outfits, etc.

Each company would have advantages and disadvantages for this mode. ECW would earn you the least money, but would make you the most popular. Their training would be average. WWE would have the best training, average money, but not make you as popular. WCW would pay the most, give average popularity, but the lowest training.

There’d be lots of unlockables, like different wrestlers or old gimmicks, (Like Austin’s ring master gimmick, etc.) The look of each years PPV would be unlockable as well. (Example, Wresltemania XVI, XVII, XVIII etc)

One feature on SVsR that seems interesting but is actually kind of dull is the general manager mode. I don’t know how to make this interesting, but we’d need to have a mode where you actually run WCW, WWE, and ECW. You have to fight off invasions from other brands, deal with network and locker room politics, etc. One idea is for WCW you invade the WWE taped shows to steal there results. If you win a backstage brawl, then you get the results back to WCW for a ratings bonus. For WWE, you’d defend against the same thing. In here you could have different outcomes to the era. Like what if WCW ended up buying WWE, or what if by some miracle ECW emerged victorious.

Other what if scenarios can be played out, such as what if the Montreal Screwjob turned out differently? After the wars, what if the NWO lasted longer in the WWE? What if ECW kept all it’s big stars? The possibilities are many.

The final mode would be Fantasy Match, where you get to play big matches that never occurred. Hogan/Austin, DX/NWO, Sting/Undertaker, etc.

A game like this, and wrestling games in general could use a trivia game.

Now let me address the two elephants in the room. With all due respect a lot of us fans would love to have Owen Hart in this game. I would agree to not have his Blue Blazer gimmick or the Over the Edge PPV.

The other is Chris Benoit. The WWE has virtually wiped away Benoit from it’s history. I don’t believe putting him in a game condones his horrible actions, but I understand the sensitivity of the matter. One compromise could be to have a wrestler called The Crippler, who looks and has the same move set as Benoit. Then he could be in the game without having to use his name.

I believe that having both wrestlers in some capacity in a game is not meant to exploit tragedy, but for fans to remember their in ring work during this incredible era.

For a game like this I want it all, but if it were really made what realistically would be in it? Probably not Owen and Benoit, the KISS wrestler, celebrities like Dave Arquette and Mike Tyson, and probably not some of the more obscure characters from the era. It’d be a shame not to have Sting. There’s so many announcers, so for simplicity sake it’d probably be Bischoff and Heenan for WCW, J.R. and Lawler for WWE, and Joey Styles for ECW. Either way if they made a game even close to this I wouldn’t leave the house for a year.

Oh well, here’s to dreaming.

Fan Fiction, stories about licensed characters written by fans, have exploded since the internet. What I’m about to write is what I call consumer fiction, not stories necessarily, but what if scenarios imagining certain products coming out.

I’ve written a lot about the Marvel movie universe and DC’s lack thereof. What if DC had started a film universe that went head to head with Marvel’s. It’d be the comic book equivalent to wrestling’s Monday Night Wars.

Year One

Superman

This would basically be Superman Begins. Rebooting the Superman franchise for a new generation, but like the 1978 movie, show lots of Krypton, young Clark, and then have him fight Lex Luthor.

Captain America.

World War II period piece, maybe hinting at, if not showing other heroes of the era. Fights Nazi baddies, Red Skull, ends with his apparent death.

I picked Cap for the first Marvel movie so this year we’d see with the beginning of the Marvel and DC universes.

Year Two

Batman Begins

This could almost be the same movie as what we have. Post credit scene where Superman flies to Wayne Manor, saying they need to talk.

Iron Man

Again could be just about the same movie.

Aquaman.

This could be a good underwater fantasy flick. Post credit scene, a cruise ship rides by, turns out to be Bruce Wayne’s. He makes contact with Aquaman, hints about team.

Year Three

Wonder Woman.

Maybe no WWII references. I’m thinking it all takes place on Paradise island, but perhaps no. Superman appears post credit.

Thor

Continuing the fantasy theme.  Takes place mostly on Asgard.

Green Lantern. Post credit scene with a few heroes.

Year Four

Superman 2. Leads into JLA movie.

Hulk

Justice League,  starring all previous DC characters of course. I’d love to see Darkseid as the big baddie, with hints of him dropped in previous movies.

Avengers.

I’ve always been a Marvel fan, but I think if you look at the core Avengers characters vs JLA, not as many Avengers characters could carry their own movies. That could definitely give DC a box office edge as they’d have more movies to work from. DC COULD HAVE gone toe to toe with Marvel on this, and just might have come out on top. DC Entertainment was announced last month, in an attempt to further capitalize on DC properties,  but is it too late? We’re talking about a company that almost had Jack Black play Green Lantern, so who knows.

Anyway, what do you think?