In honor of the opening of the hotly anticipated new Avengers movie, Picktainment is looking at the best comic books and graphic novels that haven’t yet made it to the big screen, but could easily warrant their own movie or series.   I thought it would be fun to pair them up with the ideal director for each film, auteurs best suited for taking surreal material from the pulp world and bringing it to life for the popcorn and nachos crowd.  Feel free to post your rants below in the comments on how bad Hollywood would screw up these classics—(or feel free to suggest your own, I’m sure I missed some good ones!)

Deadpool – Kevin Smith
My boyfriend literally said he would break up with me if I didn’t put this on the list, which speaks to the sheer power and allure of this comic book pseudo villain (and not the thin shoestring my relationship is hanging on to).  Marvel’s ultimate anti-hero is a disfigured rogue assassin, who’s kicked the asses of everyone from Spiderman to Wolverine, but Hollywood has thus far only limply portrayed him onscreen.  (Erase that Ryan Reynolds debacle from your brain now, everyone) The dialogue in the Deadpool comics is witty, subversive and biting, and Smith is the perfect writer/director to take it to the big screen.  But let’s root for more Red State and less Cop Out in his vision.

Preacher – Darren Aronofsky
Penned by Garth Ennis and inked by Steve Dillon, Preacher is by far one of Vertigo’s best. (Remember “indie” comics that were sort of owned by big studios like DC?  Yeah, thanks 90’s.).  Guy Ritchie could take this story about small town Texas preacher Jesse Custer’s epic journey to find God.  Godabandoned Heaven in the wake of the birth of Genesis, a creature who destroyed Custer’s church and killed everyone in it. This is dirty, deeply symbolic material, set against a wasteland of an America built on faith and freedom, crumbling under the weight of its moral austerity.  Aronofsky  could deftly maneuver this material, giving audiences the weighty crux of Custer’s internal battle as fights to stop the evil that sprung from the union of Heaven and Hell.  A movie based on the short series has been in the works, mostly pre-production stages for a long time—let’s hope Hollywood doesn’t turn it into “Priest II.”

Transmetropolitan – Christopher Nolan
In the newsroom, we like to refer to this one as “journalism porn,” (in comic book form!) Set sometime in the future, a Hunter Thompson-esque writer leaves his secluded world and ventures into The City, a techno-wasteland where no one really knows what year it is, and people cryogenically frozen awake to find themselves in a future where they live worse than rats. Christopher Nolan could take on this ambiguously amoral vision of the future, with Johnny Depp or Leonardo Dicaprio tackling the role of Spider Jerusalem and channeling a little in

Maus – Steven Spielberg
What about a film various of a Pulitzer Prize winning graphic novel depicting the Holocaust, where Nazis are vicious cats and Jews are mice penned by Art Spiegelman?.  A gritty, post-modern masterpiece that still inspires writers and authors to this day.  In the hands of someone like Spielberg, and access to technology that could make Spiegelman’s world where the vicious brutality of the human race is literally reduced to its animal core, it could be one of the most memorable, if not important, “comic book” movies of all time. It would be nice to see Spielberg re-invent himself in his later years, and this would be a great way to make the next step.

Bone – Pete Doctor
The surreal adventures of the Bone cousins, a trio of bald reluctant heroes making their way through the wasteland of the Valley after being run out of their hometown, is material ripe for cinematic spectacle.  This one has Spike Jonze all over it. Maybe Pixar could take a break from the “CUTE LOVALBE [INSERT OBJECT NAME] PAIRED WITH SURLY [INSERT OTHER OBJECT NAME]” movie business and reinvent themselves with some weird and wonderful.   Doctor, who helmed Up could inject humanism into the weird shapeless baldies of Bone, and help ground some of its weirder elements for mainstream audiences.

Kingdom Come – David Fincher
The Alex Ross and Mark Waid original series is nothing short of a masterpiece—a work that reinvigorated interest in the superhero genre from a nation of dormant old school fans.  A bold re-visioning of the DC Superhero universe, set in a bleak and troubled world, it’s more like Watchmen than The Avengers, but still delivers in terms of action and bold dramatic story lines.   Fincher already tackled literary hits like Fight Club and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, so why not see what he can do with comics?  Plus, you just know he would cast Brad Pitt in it.  Win.

Astro City – Quentin Tarantino
Kurt Busiek brought Astro City to life for Image Comics in 1995, and created a mega world filled with superheroes.  With tons and tons of characters that pop up in this world, and a story told from multiple points of view, the film needs a director who can tell a story that doesn’t always follow a straight line, features some great ass kicking, and involves a patchwork of narrative techniques.  Tarantino is more than the perfect fit, although if I really had my way, I’d go back in time and get Robert Altman to do this before he died.

Razor – Sophia Coppola
The visionary creation of cult legeng Everette Hartsoe, Razor was his take on The Crow, a ultra violent revenge comic, centered on a female lead. After witnessing a brutal murder in her family, Nicole Mitchell becomes “Razor,” named for the steel blades strapped to her arms.  In a world set almost exclusively in the back alleys of Chinatown, Razor dispatches thugs at night and helps wayward teens during the day.   By far one of my favorite comic books of all time, and also one of the most overlooked.  A brooding female-driven revenge saga, with a dark and finely crafted back story,  Razor is like the female Batman, tormented by demons from her past she just can’t let go of.  I’m dying to see what the queen of Indie filmmaking would do with this material, and Coppola would kill it by breaking genres.


So what do you think?  What did I miss?  Or what should Hollywood never ever touch ever?