Here's a good reason to celebrate the overcooked trend of comic book movies: it could help revitalize the western genre. I know, westerns never really went away, and we already have some high-profile examples of the genre coming soon (3:10 to Yuma; The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), but it might take a comic adaptation to really hit a nerve with younger audiences. Warner Bros. is making a movie out of Jonah Hex, a DC Comic (obviously) about a violent gunslinger/bounty hunter with a disfigured face (always great for audience appeal -- remember The Man Without a Face?). The anti-hero title character debuted in the 1970s, but in the 1990s he was featured in a series that added supernatural elements (zombies; monsters; ghosts) to the title. It is this later run that will be adapted for the screen.

Filmmakers Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, who wrote and directed the assassin actioner Crank, are already on board, as are producers Andrew Lazar (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind) and Akiva Goldsman (Mr. and Mrs. Smith). There are hopes to turn the property into a franchise. I'm guessing the studio will want to release a PG-13 film, but from the descriptions of the most recent incarnation of the comic, which is published without approval from the Comics Code Authority, it probably deserves an R-rating. Hex has been compared to Clint Eastwood's Man with No Name and Josey Wales characters and, thanks to an '80s run set in a post-apocalyptic future, Mel Gibson's Mad Max (combined, of course, with The Man Without a Face).

categories Cinematical