10 Cartoon Strips That Should Be Films
The Original: Created in 1963 by Peter O'Donnell and Jim Holdaway, Blaise began life in a comic strip but has since gone on to conquer books, TV and even a movie or two.
Her background has been debated, though it's largely agreed that she worked her way up a criminal organisation, got rich, then retired and, bored by her wealth, accepted assignments for the British Secret Service.
Blaise has been filmed before in 1966 as a comedy thriller, as a 1982 TV movie that was intended to launch a series and one more effort (see below).
Our Director Pick: Quentin Tarantino. He loves the 'toon, was a sponsor for a less-than-successful, dumped-to-DVD 2003 Miramax take on the character (My Name Is Modesty) and has expressed interest in making his own version.
The Pitch: Have QT dig out the treatment he commissioned from, of all people, Neil Gaiman, let them work on the script together and give it the full-on Tarantino treatment.
And we'd cast Emily Blunt as Modesty, in a whacked-out, 60s-set tale of the character investigating an underworld protection racket run primarily by… a pair of puppeteers who turned to crime after the music halls closed down.
The Original: Charles M Schulz created the legendary strip, which ran from October 1950 until February 13, 2000 (the day after Schulz died). It continues to this day in re-runs.
Surely everyone knows Peanuts - the misadventures of Charlie Brown (though he wasn't the lead originally), his more-human-than-most-of-the-kids dog Snoopy and their various friends.
Big themes? Kids' takes on life and love, frustration and American Football. It's possibly the most popular comic strip ever created and his been adapted into books and lots of TV specials, and even a couple of theatrical productions.
Our Director Pick: Cameron Crowe. He hasn't been one to shy away from trying to stretch himself in the past - witness his stab at sci-fi with Vanilla Sky - and he'd channel the worldview of Charlie Brown and co with real emotion.
The Pitch: A blend of coming-of-age (well, coming-of-eight-years-old) drama, whimsical comedy and musical moments, the movie features a live-action cast, with a CG snoopy. Yeah, a CG Snoopy.
The Original: Frank Hampson dreamt up the pilot of the future in 1950, and published his adventures in Eagle magazine. Described as "Biggles in space", with the characters talking like war film characters despite inhabiting the "futuristic" 1990s.
He's been turned into radio dramas and, more recently a CG cartoon series but has - shockingly - never a movie.
Our Director Pick: Duncan Jones. The Moon man has proved he can handle space scenes with aplomb and if he's looking for a calling card that'll help get him the money he needs to gear up his planned future noir Mute, what better than an iconic sci-fi character ripe for a refresh? Or he can jump to Dare once Source Code and Mute are both complete.
The Pitch: Have Jones team up with Doctor Who scriptwriter Paul Cornell, who has written recent issues of Marvel's Dare-alike character Captain Britain.
Together, they can dream up a blend of square-jawed heroism and subtle modern-day war-on-terror satire that should see a franchise launched.
Roy Of The Rovers
The Original: Frank S Pepper was the man behind the football-based comic strip, launched in 1954 and so successful that it earned its own magazine between 1976 and 1995.
The main character is Roy Race, a blond-locked player, who became a firm favourite despite plenty of competition. It even managed to end in tragedy with Roy losing a foot in a helicopter crash. How's that for dark?
Our Director Pick: Jim Sheridan. Frankly, we need to rescue his career from the hell of Get Rich Or Die Tryin' and the mawkish-looking Brothers. Let's get him back firmly on British ground and have him make an effective take on Roy's life.
The Pitch: Meet Roy (Orlando Bloom - for international appeal, as we've got to sell "soch-er" to the Yanks and the Goal films, honestly, failed), star player for the Rovers. Plucked from an obscure local team, he's a fast-rising talent. But some people will do anything to make sure he doesn't help the Rovers win the FA Cup…
The Bash St Kids
The Original: Original artist Leo Baxendale took the inspiration for the little rotters from a Giles cartoon of pupils streaming from school. The kids themselves debuted in the Beano in 1954 and remain to this day, seemingly locked in a school world of the past (mortar boards etc).
Our Director Pick: Fish Tank's Andrea Arnold. You'll see why in a second.
The Pitch: We're taking the kids and transforming them from a pack of wild, scheme-setting ne'er do wells and re-framing the series as a cutting indictment of modern British education.
So Arnold will craft a tough, searching, Un-PC stare into the state of kids who will do anything to escape the rigors of their lives.
But Plug still has to be terrifyingly ugly.
Hagar The Horrible
The Original: Hagar got his start in 1973 when Dik Browne dreamt up the hairy, horned-helmeted goofball forever trying invade Britain and France. These days, the Viking's strips are written by the deceased creator's son, Chris.
He's usually to be found pillaging, or, more likely, out at the local tavern, drinking. The character has been animated for TV in the past, and there's talk of a live-action movie, but nothing has been set yet. In the mean time…
Our Director Pick: Terry Jones. True, it's been a while since he tackled a movie, but he's not only bursting with historical knowlegde, he's also had a little experience with period comedy (Holy Grail, anyone?)...
The Pitch: The 1989 TV special is a good starting point - have Hagar returning from battle after two years to discover his lovely daughter is engaged to marry drippy minstrel and his son has been cooked out of the Viking Academy. Can he sort his family out?
The Original: Alex Graham first brought the basset hound to the world in the Daily Mail in 1963. The wise, wry dog has since gone on to be syndicated around the world, with Michael Martin taking over after Graham's death in1991.
Basset's day is usually spent commenting on his human owners foibles, or those of his canine friends.
Our Director Pick: Jason Reitman, who has proved he can adapt source material into interesting/uplifting/funny/heartwarming films. This will be, without a doubt, his biggest challenge yet.
The Pitch: Fred and his family head out for a trip to see some American cousins, giving our canine chum the chance to find not only truly love in the form of a snooty American poodle, but also new appreciation for the differences between the US and the UK.
And the dogs are all played by people in suits. Go for it, Reitman!
The Original: Starting out in 1958 in the Daily Mirror, the gang of kids (and Boot the dog) were created by Maurice Dodd and artist Dennis Collins.
Set in the fictional town of Coynge, it sees the main characters inhabiting a world where there are no parents to bother them (at least, the parents are rarely seen and main character Wellington is an orphan) and they can enjoy themselves.
The BBC turned them into a cartoon in the 1970s.
Our Director Pick: Garth Jennings, who, with writing/producing partner Nick Goldsmith, made childhood nostalgia so appealing in Son Of Rambow.
The Pitch : Bring the story up to date, but keep the kids locked in their fantastical world - until Boot's railway station home is scheduled for demolition and replacement with a brand new set of luxury flats.
The Perishers must use all their wits to stop the developers from ruining their mate's life.
The Original: New Zealand's Kim Grove came up with the simple concept for the strip in the late 1960, as a series of love notes for her future hubby. But she found fame and forte with the idea when the characters - a naked cartoon man and woman (with no genitals, which must make "love" fairly tough) and simple reflections on the nature of romance and relationships.
Our Director Pick: Stephen Daldry hasn't done anything that's as fun as Billy Elliot, so we think he should tackle a rom com while he waits for The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier And Clay to actually work as a script.
The Pitch: Tough one to adapt, this, though the Mail On Sunday did have an alternate, clothed version of the characters in a proper running story strip back in the 1980s.
Still, it's obvious you can't just have whimsical couples wibbling on about love (Richard Curtis has already cornered that market), so let's get a writer like Diablo Cody in to make it a modern-day romantic fable of boy-meets-girl-and-both-over-obsess-about-each-other-in-a-pop-cultural-way.
The Original: Andy is the creation of Reg Smythe and started in the Daily Mirror in 1957.
It's the tale of Andy, a Hartlepool lad who likes nothing better than smoking (not these days, though) drinking, rugby and getting yelled at by/fighting with wife Florrie. He's also a notorious womanizer and layabout.
Our Director Pick: Lars Von Trier is clearly the right choice, a man known for peering deep into the darkest recesses of the human brain and heart.
The Pitch: Von Trier will strip the Capp story back down to its basics - this is about a volatile marriage between a violent, delusional (he has nightmares about having affairs with snooker cue Delilah, which von Trier will bring to the screen with all the attendant horror that conjures up) and conflicted man, and the spiteful yet honest woman he's married to.
It'll be the second part of a trilogy that started with Antichrist. You don't want to know what the third part will be. Trust us.