The peril of the written word, especially in the digital age, is that nothing you write ever dies. It's always available, ready to be Googled and mocked in the ages to come. So, I don't want to get too giddy in predicting film trends because there's a 99% chance I'll be wrong. But the rumblings of the trades suggest we're in for a revival of pulp-based films. In the past two years, we've seen Tarzan, Solomon Kane, Conan the Barbarian, The Shadow, John Carter of Mars, Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, and of course, Doc Savage revived, even if it's just in a scriptwriting stage. (I have the feeling I'm missing one or two more.) But three out of eight actually getting in front of camera's isn't too bad. If you're generous and count the gone-but-not forgotten Zorro or The Green Hornet, you can even go for four or five, depending how favorable you'd like to be. If you're really, really going to go all the way with pulp history, you could even include The Killer Inside Me, though one could make the case that Jim Thompson transcended the genre. However you color in the pulp lines, it's pretty clear that there's a new Hollywood interest in this colorful literary genre.

It's not a surprising one, either. A lot of these characters have that shiny thing known as "marketability" and "name recognition." Even if many people have never actually read Robert E. Howard or Edgar Rice Burroughs, they know these characters, and that's enough when it comes to green-lighting a film. These days, a bit of clever wording can probably convince audiences there was a graphic novel or comic book as the basis, and maybe that alone is enough. (Witness the marketing for Spartacus: Blood and Sand. There's no actual graphic novel as the basis of the show, but they kept hinting there was.)
categories Cinematical