Screenwriter J. Michael Straczynski talks SILVER SURFER and WORLD WAR Z
J. Michael Straczynski has now fully made the transformation from comic book writer to screenwriter, having penned the Clint Eastwood-directed drama CHANGELING and the most recent NINJA ASSASSIN. The writer also has a few notable projects on the docket, including a FORBIDDEN PLANET remake, a film for Jerry Bruckheimer as well as one for Ron Howard. Straczynski also wrote drafts for WORLD WAR Z and a potential SILVER SURFER spin-off, which he recently spoke to Collider about.
"What happened was when FF2 didn’t do as well as they hoped it would do, it caused them to call into question a Silver Surfer movie. The script that I wrote picked up right where FF2 left off. So if they do a Silver Surfer film down the road, it’ll have to be its own separate things."
When asked about the tone of his SURFER script, Straczynski said "It was definitely adult fare. I wanted to tell the origin of the Surfer and get into that whole thing."
Many - me included - felt that Silver Surfer was the best, and maybe only good, quality about FANTASTIC FOUR 2. Well, maybe that and Chris Evans' Human Torch. The film felt too geared toward children, which hindered it terribly. While the FANTASTIC FOUR, as a comic, is one of Marvel's more lighthearted titles, the film came off more goofy than fun. I would agree with Mr. Straczynski that a SILVER SURFER movie would need to be darker than FANTASTIC FOUR's take on the character. Unfortunately, we may never get to see this talented comic book writer's take on the chrome cruiser.
Straczynski also wrote 5 drafts of WORLD WAR Z, yet was replaced by screenwriter Matthew Michael Carnahan (STATE OF PLAY, THE KINGDOM) in July. When it came to novel-to-film adaptation and if he thinks it will see the light of day soon, Straczynski said "One never knows. The director is attached to it [QUANTUM OF SOLACE's Marc Forster] and Paramount really wants to see it done because they have a lot of money invested in this thing. They think it could be a really big film for them."
When asked how he adapted the first person narrative, docu-style of the novel, he said he wrote the script as a "A series of interviews, so I basically said, 'Well, who did those interviews?' And you tell the story of the guy who works for the UN going around the planet interviewing folks to see what happened to them and report on what happened. Through his eyes, you see flashbacks of those storylines."
WORLD WAR Z tells the tale of the world's third world war, which is not fought between nations but between the world and a growing zombie population. The novel explores key perspectives in this war, from soldiers to doctors to regulugar civilians and their retrospectives on the events. It is by far one of the must interesting and creative spins on the thriving zombie genre, so let's hope the film follows suit. And actually gets made.
Unfortunately, it looks like the case once again is we will fail to see Straczynski's complete vision of the film. No respect. The guy gets no respect.