Now that “Thor” and “First Avenger: Captain America” are in varying levels of production, and “The Avengers” is currently scouting directors, Marvel Studios is finally getting into a clear enough headspace to begin focusing their attention on their movie slate for 2013 and beyond. With Edgar Wright’s “Ant-Man” still biding its time in Development Hell, alongside planned adaptations of “Dr. Strange,” “Black Panther” and “Iron Fist,” it’s high-time that some worthwhile legitimate information leaked out of the House of Ideas.
Word has spread across the net that the studio had started to move forward with their next big-screen venture. And it’s wasn’t necessarily the one fans might have been expecting…
As reported by ultra-reliable Deadline, Marvel’s oft-talked about “Runaways” film project is officially slowly coming together, and has found a director in “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” helmer Peter Sollett. The endeavor, described as “‘The Breakfast Club’ meets superheroes,” will be targeted at the youth-demographic (Unlike the other Marvel pictures?) and, though not mentioned in the article, may wind up being the first of the company’s flicks released under the Disney umbrella.
The film will take its characters and story ideas from the “Runaways” monthly series, created by famed comic-book and “Lost” writer Brian K. Vaughan, which details the misadventures of a group of super-powered teens who, realizing that their parents are super-villains, band together to fight the good fight. Similar to the X-Men or Fantastic Four, there is a heavy dysfunctional family-unit dynamic at work, although conversely, unlike those popular properties, each of the characters’ special abilities originates from very different circumstances — including mutation, extraterrestrial sources and even witchcraft.
While it hasn’t been made clear whether Vaughan will be involved in penning the screenplay for “Runaways,” I would be surprised if he wasn’t heavily involved — possibly even at a producing level — as he has already crafted a number of purportedly brilliant scripts — one of which is an alternate world take on the King Arthur legend called “Roundtable” — that have received extremely positive attention in Hollywood. Marvel has already shown a history of utilizing the talents of their top-ranking comic-book writers in brainstorming their movie projects, and hopefully “Runaways” will continue the trend.
Gotta say, however, I’m not overly sold on Sollett being the right man to call the shots. “Nick and Norah” was an inert, irritating bore and I dread that he’ll try to take this burgeoning franchise in a similarly overly-precious, hipster-y direction. He’ll also need to work on his so-far-unspectacular visual abilities if he wants to deliver the requisite action and heroics in an effective, audience-pleasing manner. Still, it’s unfair to completely demonize him on a single effort, so for now I’m just going to put my trust in the fact that Marvel has so far shown an exceedingly good judgment in choosing captains to steer their cinematic labors. They just may see something I don’t, and I’ll be curious to see how “Runaways” progresses.
P.S.: Mr. Sollett, if you’re reading this, please find a way to incorporate the wonderful Ari Graynor into your cast. It would be much appreciated.
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Follow Cam Smith on Twitter at http://twitter.com/camspcepisodes.