Queen & Country
The Comic: Based on ‘70s Brit TV series The Sandbaggers , tells the story of SIS Operative Tara Chace. Tackling the politics of being a special agent in an unforgiving, realistic light, the comics follow the life-in-hand missions of its operatives.
Big-Screen Plot: Tara is sent to infiltrate a gang who have cornered the market in just about every underhand activity taking place in London’s hellish underbelly. But will she fall for the charming ways of the gang’s leader?
Dream Cast: Gemma Arterton, James McAvoy
Directed By: Martin Campbell
The Comic: Five super-powered teenagers come together when they are all targeted for annihilation. They discover that they were all created by a biogenetics firm called Tabula Rasa, and are possessed of the same souls as previous Gen 13 super-humans.
Big-Screen Plot: It’s all about the origins, especially with a story as complex as Gen 13 . Reams of backstory crowd the comics, with various reboots and cannon-departing stories meaning there’s a lot to squeeze in. But a streamlined team-assembling plot that has the kids attempting to take down Tabula Rasa should set the scene for a franchise.
Dream Cast: All unknown (it’s more effective that way)
Directed By: Edgar Wright
Johnny The Homicidal Maniac
The Comic: Serial slasher Johnny C. takes great pleasure in slicing and dicing, but what drives him? As he goes about making claret-splatters all over walls and ceilings, he tries to understand the strange supernatural forces that are driving him to kill.
Big-Screen Plot: In a dark, animated flick that’s definitely not for kids, we follow Johnny’s journey of self-discovery. It’s almost a detective noir thriller in reverse, this time from the killer’s perspective.
Dream Cast: Johnny Depp (voice)
Directed By: Tim Burton
The Comic: No, not a potential screen project for Vinnie Jones, but a literal bouncer. Previously the statue of Greek Titan Antaeus, the rocky sculpture comes to life and finds he has the ability to leap great distances. Soon, he decides to use his powers to fight modern day criminals.
Big-Screen Plot: Comedy caper (how could it be anything else?) revolving around Bouncer’s transformation from stationary resident of the Natural History Museum to rubber-soled superhero. When an evil genius uses an electronic pulse to ground all airborne vehicles, it’s up to Bouncer to launch himself into Earth’s atmosphere to stop the explosion of a bomb…
Dream Cast: Mark Wahlberg
Directed By: Adam McKay
The Comic: Award-winning fantasy series that riffs on dark ideas and bonkers humour, as three podgy white cousins – Phoney, Fone and Smiley – pitch up in a medieval village and set about fighting for good. But first they have to conquer the dastardly Lord of the Locusts and his terrifying rat minions.
Big-Screen Plot: The Bone fellas head to the big city where they bump into similar critters the Smurfs. After Brainy Smurf and Smurfette show them the ropes (including how to sneak under tube barriers and snatch money out of purses), Phoney, Fone and Smiley start to worry that the city has corrupted the wee blue ones. And it's up to them to eradicate them one by one.
Dream Cast: Will Ferrell, Paul Giamatti, Kate Hudson
Directed By: Peter Jackson
Y: The Last Man
The Comic: Ah, here’s one that may actually get made into a movie, even if it’s taking its time getting here. First published in 2002, the comic follows the last man alive – and his accompanying monkey - after every male mammal on Earth is rendered inexplicably extinct.
Big-Screen Plot: “We've taken about four cracks at the screenplay,” says director DJ Caruso. "It's been a really tough one, only because there's so much that you cover and trying to narrow it down [is a problem].” Let’s make it easy, then – just do the exact opposite of I Am Legend.
Dream Cast: Shia LaBeouf
Directed By: DJ Caruso
The Comic: Twelve-issue series set in suburban Seattle, where a group of sexually active teenagers all contract a “teen plague” that causes horrific mutations. Pretty soon they’re all outcasts, and congregate at a commune in the woods where nobody will judge them on their bizarre appearances.
Big-Screen Plot: Growing pangs aplenty in a ‘70s horror by way of Freaks And Geeks , as the teen bug takes hold and ruins many a teenager’s life. One afflicted teen decides to take it upon himself to rid the town of the menace – first by cutting off his own growths, and then attacking others in a renegade mission. Note: David Fincher and Alexandre Aja have both been attached to direct.
Dream Cast: Steven R. McQueen, Leighton Meester – basically any pretty TV talent it’d be fun to see made horrifically ugly.
Directed By: Neill Blomkamp
The Comic: A Western Manga, We3 is a squad of prototype animal weapons including Bandit (a dog), Tinker (a cat) and Pirate (a rabbit) who all have pseudo-Robocop exoskeletons. When they escape captivity, they have to evade reincarceration – luckily their body armour repels things like machine guns.
Big-Screen Plot: Transformers meets Cats & Dogs but, y’know, good. There’s no way to treat this premise seriously, so how about a bloody grindhouse-style mash-up that’s aimed squarely at adults and has its tongue planted firmly against its cheek. Take the above plot, add gore and a cackling villain.
Dream Cast: Mary-Louise Parker (voice; Tinker), Josh Brolin (voice; Bandit), Whoopi Goldberg (voice; Pirate), Christopher Lloyd (villain)
Directed By: Gareth Edwards
The Comic: Hypnotic collision of faith and fucking, as an angel-demon hybrid is loosed on the world, and possesses the body of the hard-done-by Reverend Jesse Custer. Aided by assassin lover Tulip and Irish vampire Cassidy, Custer sets out on a mission to find God – and make him pay for turning his back on humanity.
Big-Screen Plot: As rich and multi-textured as Preacher is, it also lends itself to a franchise thanks to the completeness of its first 26 issues. The rest of the comic story from there on in could easily be divided up into sequels. Note: Sam Mendes has long been attached to a film adap, but has yet to get it into production.
Dream Cast: James Marsden
Directed By: Sam Mendes
The Comic: Mitchell Hundred turns into the Great Machine after an explosion at Brooklyn Bridge transforms him into a walking, talking human motherboard. With the ability to control and communicate with mechanical devices (cars, phones and guns), he becomes the world’s first superhero. Then, when he helps out during 9/11 rescue attempts, he’s elected Mayor of New York City.
Big-Screen Plot: The politics is the interesting stuff here, and its combination with the superhero stuff is Ex Machina ’s calling card. So let’s have a flashback-riddled plotline that sees Hundred facing a new foe in his office who he once had to fight as a superhero.
Dream Cast: Edward Norton
Directed By: Jon Favreau