50 Comics That Should Be Movies

The Runaways

The Comic: Six teenagers discover that their parents belong to a criminal group called The Pride, then realise they have their own super powers.

The Movie Version: Joss Whedon took the reigns on volume two of the comic, so let’s set him loose on the movie version. He’s shown he can handle big screen action with The Avengers , and he’d ensure the words are just as snappy.

Perfect Cast: Fran Kranz, Ginnifer Goodwin, Eliza Dushku, AnnaSophia Robb, Matthew Underwood

Dream Director: Joss Whedon

Black Panther

The Comic: Jungle Action #19-24 is a tightly-written Black Panther arc that has the superhero going up against the Ku Klux Klan. Writer Dwayne McDuffie calls it an “overlooked and underrated classic”.

The Movie Version: Iron Man 2 suggested Black Panther exists in present day, so let’s update that Jungle Action arc as Panther fights KKK members who’ve started a new cult deep in the jungle.

Perfect Cast: Idris Elba

Dream Director: Spike Lee


The Comic: A 75-issue series from author Neil Gaiman, following Dream, who presides over the world of dreams.

The Movie Version: There’s only one guy suitable for adapting this oddity for the big screen, and that’s David Lynch. Expect something overtly dreamy and outrageous, with Rickman doing 'mysterious' like only he can...

Perfect Cast: Alan Rickman

Dream Director: David Lynch


The Comic: Garth Ennis’ World War II mini-series, which is split into three issues. The first features a women-only Soviet bomber regiment, the second a British nurse, and the third a tank battle.

The Movie Version: Loads of action, but with Terence Malick on-board, this could become a poetic war movie that rivals his Thin Red Line.

Perfect Cast: Willem Dafoe, Melanie Laurent, Marcia Gay Harden, Adrien Brody

Dream Director: Terrence Malick


The Comic: A graphic novel from cartoonist Adrian Tomine, who addresses issues of racism and cultural difference through the character of Ben, an Asian-American who loves Caucasian women.

The Movie Version: Damien O'Donnell ( East Is East , Inside I’m Dancing ) is great at social dramas, and would bring the right amount of humour and heart to a movie adap. Meanwhile, John Cho can do funny and heartbreaking.

Perfect Cast: John Cho

Dream Director: Damien O'Donnell

The Zen Of Steve Jobs

The Comic: A fictional biography of Steve Jobs, as dreamed up by writer Caleb Melby. It depicts Jobs’ years in the wilderness after getting the boot from Apple.

The Movie Version: Both a tribute to the man himself, and a knowingly odd concept that Jobs would have been a fan of, this could be a trippy non-biopic in the vein of I’m Not There . Get Bale to grow a beard and he could pull of the role no problem.

Perfect Cast: Christian Bale

Dream Director: Bennett Miller

Ex Machina

The Comic: What would happen if a superhero unmasked and took on the job of New York mayor? Brian K. Vaughn answers that with Ex Machina.

The Movie Version: We’d have to skip over the comic’s plot point in which Mitchell Hundred saves one of the twin towers, but otherwise this is perfectly suited to the big screen. And Aaron Johnson for mayor!

Perfect Cast: Aaron Johnson

Dream Director: Paul Greengrass


The Comic: Retro-loving hero Jack Knight, aka Starman, has no powers of his own, instead relying on his sharp mind and his, er, cosmic rod, to help him tackle criminals.

The Movie Version: The ‘cosmic rod’ stuff is sure to earn a few titters, but this comic could make for a really solid, contained superhero story. They’d probably have to change the name to avoid confusion with John Carpenter’s film, though.

Perfect Cast: James Franco

Dream Director : John McTiernan

Street Angel

The Comic: A superhero satire in which 12-year-old skateboarder Jesse combats ninjas and pirates using her martial arts skills…

The Movie Version: It’s already been a short film, but this is totally worthy of the big screen. Alison Pill would be perfect as (an aged-up) Jesse, and Gus van Sant has form with young drifters. Match made in heaven.

Perfect Cast: Alison Pill

Dream Director: Gus van Sant

Afro Samurai

The Comic: Japanese manga that is creator Takashi Okazaki’s love letter to American culture. Afro Samurai witnessed his father’s murder as a child. Now an adult, he sets out for revenge against his murderer.

The Movie Version: A bloody, tongue-in-cheek action-fest in which Afro Samurai attempts to track down Justice, his father’s murderer, and make him pay.

Perfect Cast: Donald Glover

Dream Director: Edgar Wright

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.