Saturday, September 14, 2013

Fan-Casting DC's FIRESTORM: Part 1

Outlining the next two movies in my Justice League trilogy is taking some time, but it's oh so much fun.  While toiling over this project, I allowed the character-to-actor matching process to carry me away, and now, well, I have more than 150 heroes, villains, or supporting players in the DC Universe cast.

I likely won't start posting my write-up and cast for Justice League: The Brave and the Bold for another couple weeks.  In the meantime, I thought I'd share a few of casting decisions for characters who will not be gracing the main Justice League trilogy, but who could possibly appear in later sequels or their own features.

To kick things off, I present my much simpler vision for a Firestorm movie franchise.

More Howie Long. More Howie Long.

Or wait, maybe I meant this guy:

More fire hair.  More fire hair.

I dedicate this series to the Irredeemable Shag at Firestorm Fan.

Before going further, I want to address my absolute lack of faith that Warner Bros. would ever make a Firestorm movie on their own.  If the studio has a list somewhere of fifty potential films based on DC Comics properties, I'm sure Firestorm doesn't make the cut.  Of course, the first 35 titles on the list are Batman, so it's really a matter of Firestorm not making the other fifteen.  And that's unfortunate, because to me, Firestorm is the easiest hero in DC's stable to bring to the theater.

Warner Bros. and DC have struggled to make movies starring Superman and Green Lantern that appeal to fans, critics, and general audiences, and they're too scared to even try it with Wonder Woman.  To a certain extent, I don't blame them.  DC heroes aren't like Marvel heroes.  DC characters would be superior people even if they didn't have powers.  Marvel characters use their powers for good despite their human flaws.

Marvel is the company of antiheroes, and I don't mean the type who shoot guns, wear trench coats, and kill their enemies.  No, I mean antihero in the classic sense: someone who acts heroically despite physical or character flaws that would make them seem less than ideal.  In other words: damn near all of Marvel's heroes.  Spider-Man is an antihero because Peter Parker is a nerdy science geek who gets picked on in school.  Iron Man is an antihero because Tony Stark is an arrogant, womanizing, alcoholic.  And these two less-than-ideal but all-too-relatable heroes have become the archetypes that Marvel Studios has built its cinematic universe around.

DC heroes, on the other hand, are far less relatable.  If Clark Kent didn't have superpowers, he would still be a crusading journalist for truth and justice.  If Hal Jordan didn't have a power ring, he would still be a death-defying test pilot.  If Barry Allen weren't the fastest man alive, he would still solve crimes for the Central City Police.  If Batman never donned the cape and cowl, he would still be the world's greatest detective, as well as one of the richest men in the world, one of the smartest men in the world, one of the best fighters in the world.

If your skull housed a nuclear furnace, you'd
wear some funky sleeves, too.
But that doesn't hold true for Firestorm, because Gerry Conway and Al Milgrom created him in the Marvel model.  In fact, the character was based on Spider-Man--with a twist.  Instead of the nerdy kid, who gets teased relentlessly by the dumb jock, getting powers in a scientific accident, Firestorm's protagonist is the dumb jock, and the nerd his constant tormenter.

It's a perfect formula for a movie, because it combines the basic plot structure of Spider-Man, with the character arc of Iron Man.  Ronnie Raymond is a cocky, egotistical star athlete at the beginning, but when given superpowers, he must learn humility and responsibility for the good of everyone.

In Part 2 of this series, I'll get into my plans and backup plans for the main character, explain my casting decisions, and provide a very loose outline for the first movie.  If you've been following my Justice League fan-cast, don't expect twenty posts to tell the story.  This is a very modest story outline.  Like, a paragraph probably.  And then in Part 3, I'll do the same for a sequel movie… and beyond.

Come back soon, and be prepared to fan the flame!

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