My buddy Ken's been thinking lately about superhero movie adaptations that would make him nervous and sent me an email wondering about my thoughts on it. I asked him if I could use the question as blog-food and he said, "Sure!" So here are the Top Five superhero comics that I'd be most skittish about getting made into movies. I would've guessed that it would be a similar list to my Top Five Favorite Superheroes, but that didn't end up being the case. Shang Chi, for instance, ought to be very easy to get right and I wouldn't be scared until I heard that Michael Bay was the director.
5. The Defenders
There are several team movies that I'd be really nervous about. I'm both excited and worried about The Avengers in equal measure, but I feel like there's a plan for that and - so far - it sounds like a good one. But when I think of everything that could go wrong with a Justice League movie for example, I lose my desire to ever see one. Same goes for other teams I like even more than the JLA, like the Champions and especially the Defenders.
My main concern is the difficulty of balancing that many characters in a two-hour movie. When I think of how convoluted and awful the '90s Batman movies became or Spider-Man 3 was, I cringe. The first couple of X-Men movies were okay though, so I know it can be done. It would just need a very talented writer to get it right.
4. Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD
This one's in the works and yes, I'm nervous. I love Samuel L Jackson and have no problem with him as Nick Fury, but I'm afraid that the force of his personality is going to overwhelm the groovy, '60s spy feel that I want a great Nick Fury movie to have.
3. Wonder Woman
I wouldn't have thought that this would be that hard to get right, but Joss Whedon's proposed treatment of a young Amazon girl finding her identity in Man's World made me realize how wrong someone can get this character. I was encouraged when Hollywood ultimately rejected Whedon's take, but I'll still be nervous until the right one is approved.
DC hasn't shown yet that they've figured out what to do with Aquaman, so how can I expect Hollywood to? DC's obviously working on it though; they just haven't revealed their full strategy yet. I'm hoping they've got it unlocked and can pass that knowledge on to a movie production, but the decades of history working against them aren't encouraging.
1. Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange has the potential to be one of my favorite characters, but he isn't. I've yet to read the story that perfectly balances his occult concept with his role as a superhero. Both are needed or he isn't Doctor Strange. If you go too far in one direction, he's just Harry Dresden in an outlandish costume. Too far the other direction and he's just a superhero who gets his powers from magic. Find the balance and he's spooky and cool, but that's going to be tough to do in any medium.
So what superheroes would you be nervous to see adapted for film?