Marvel Studios Announces Darkhawk Movie

image from marvel.com

image from marvel.com

…. is a headline I really wish was real.  I know it would never happen, but as I often do on this blog I like to geek/nerd out and hypothesis what the outline of the movie could be if Marvel ever decided to figuratively burn a huge pile of money and make a Darkhawk film.

First we should probably have a refresher on who/what Darkhawk is for those who didn’t collect comics in the early 90’s or did collect comics in the early 90’s but saw titles like Darkhawk #1 or Sleepwalker #1 and thought “hahahahaha no fucking way, i’ll just spend my money on one of the man man many comics featuring mutants with a bunch of pouches.”

from ComicVine

from ComicVine

I have two thoughts that best kind of sums up the Darkhawk Character, one is mine, and the other is… some comic.. person. I honestly don’t remember who it was that said it, but this person said that every 10 or 15 years Marvel kept trying to make a new spiderman type character.  A teenager who kind of had a sucky but not overly tragic upbringing, who receives powers and has to balance being a teenager and school and dating and all that with the moral responsibility that comes with these new powers.   I think it’s probably a fair assessment but it doesn’t do much to capture why some people like me really loved the character.

I think a better analogy is that Darkhawk is that journeyman player who use to be with one of your favorite teams. He was never a super star, but you loved when he was in the game because of some random reason. He could of had a cool name like Bo Outlaw. Maybe he was an integral but unheralded piece of something great like Malik Rose. Or he or she was just something you had high hopes for that just never panned out but continued to hold a place in your heart like Marc Edwards.

maybe not hall of fame material, but still one of may favorite FBs not named Rathman

maybe not hall of fame material, but still one of may favorite FBs not named Rathman

If you want me to be more specific as to the character of Darkhawk, sure, why not. I should note that this will be broad strokes since with many minor characters, the details revolving around his past, abilities, and origin shift fairly drastically depending on who is writing for the character at that time and what they need him to do in support the real main protagonist.

Chris Powell was a teenage who discovered an amulet in some deserted place and when he gripped it he suddenly would transform into Darkhawk, which is a robotic suit of armor that is alien in nature and has the ability of flight as well as energy projections and some other stuff. Basically it was like a less versatile iron man suit that was more mystical than technological.

iron-man-21728-597x800

A large part of his initial adventures as dark hawk revolved around chris either fighting a villian of the week or trying to figure out what they hell the suit is about. The villian of the week usually involved standard low level marvel bad guys and darkhawk teaming up here and there with good guys like the punisher or spiderman. The mystery of the suit stuff involved fighting other guys that kind of looked like him or also had suits.

Most recently it was revealed that the dark hawk suit was part of an evil galactic war group called the fraternity of the raptor and Chris’ suit is one of only a few left. Chris finding the amulet and using the suit has awoken the other remaining suits or some such shit. It is also revealed that the suit is capable of switching into different battle modes and is way more versatility, similar to the way the current incarnation of the blue beetle’s armor is able to make things up based on the will power of the host. It’s actually kind of a cool idea and what i read of “The War of Kings” was pretty good stuff, but anything that only features space characters and no Silver Surfer does become boring pretty fast in my opinion.

Space can be lonley. Hopefully Norin can get a hollar back from Nova… not the Richard Rider one.

In fact if you want more info about dark hawk and the similarities to the Blue Beetle then check out this youtube clip:

Those are the broad strokes and any discussion about his time as part of a myriad of random team ups or role in other major marvel story lines is kind of moot for the purposes of making an outline of a movie that would never be made.  In fact the whole point of this post might be to justify uploading a bunch of pictures of Darkhawk to my blog.

Let’s shift gears and talk about what should and shouldn’t be in the movie. First I don’t think we should get to specific with where the powers come from.  Anytime there is anything mystical or other worldly in nature the unknown element that help makes that thing intriguing is killed if you try to quantify it.  Think about Star Wars and the midichlorians or Highlander II and the weird ass time travel/aliens bullshit. Let there be some mystery around the suit and powers with an occasional hint that even though Chris is a good dude, the suit itself might have a dark history.

Now the other big elephant in the room; the origin story.  Or should I say; origin story? I think it is kind of silly to have a long drawn out origin story every time they reboot a super hero, especially with someone like Superman or Batman or Spiderman where not only 100% of comic fans know the story, but a large majority of the movie patrons do as well.  Also, if you know nothing about spiderman before seeing the movie, wouldn’t the previews that attracted you to the movie kind of give you the general idea. It’s a dude with spider powers. Boom. there you go. Now lets watch him use a manhole cover to bitch slap a guy in a rhino themed mech suit.

Still you need to give some back story and some dimensions to the character, otherwise it is just a sizzle reel and that isn’t as much fun as it sounds. I think a compromise is in order since compromises never result in a watered down product.  I think the origins of Chris and the darkhawk suit should be sprinkled throughout the movie, not in the way they did with man of steel with the flashbacks, but instead more along the line of Unforgiven.

Yeah I know, maybe trying to use a story structure similar to one of the greatest westerns of all time, or just greatest movies in general, for a cult classic comic character is a bit absurd. , My point is, there’s nothing that compelling about the story of Chris Powell becoming Darkhawk that hasn’t been done one way or another either in comic book movies or TV Shows. Instead let’s get all reverse William Munney and have Chris Powell as an adult, working as a second tier super hero when the movie begins.

He’s not on the speed dial of any of the Avengers, but occasionally he will happen by and lend a hand to other 2nd tier heroes or maybe gets in over his head and needs a bail out from the big guys.  At this point the cinematic universe of marvel is one in which the people of earth are fully aware of super heroes and have been dealing with that for a few years.  Everyone in this world knows Thor and the Hulk, but maybe only those really into the super hero scene know about some of the lesser heroes like a Darkhawk, Speedball, Thrasher, USAgent, Nomad, etc…

ok settle down, it’s just thrasher. No reason to make him look that dramatic.

Unforgiven had characters talking to or about Clint Eastwood’s William Munney to provide a rich yet incomplete back story on the character.  Every little nugget they would drop was compared in the viewers mind to the lackluster figure Eastwood portrayed throughout the first 90 percent of the movie. That divide between what we were hearing and what we were seeing created suspense throughout the movie until the end when it was resolved by showing just who the real William Munney was.

I see a similar structure for Chris Powell but instead of him being the ultimate bad William Munney everyone ohhs and ahhs about, he is kind of a joke when compared to the other big name guys.  We could have scenes where Chris’ friends or relatives who don’t know his secret identity talk about how darkhawk screwed up or got bailed out in stories that they heard. As they say tell these stories we see flash backs of just part of the story that coincides with what is being said.

Later there will be a reveal either through a later continuation of the flashbacks or some other new source of information that shows that Darkhawk was more than just cannon fodder and at times was the legitimate hero. That he has grown over time in confidence, ability, leadership and is valued by the super hero community.

ok so maybe spiderman still doesn’t trust him

The reason I think this would be an effective story structure is because I don’t envision a Darkhawk movie having a sequel, or at least not being created in hopes of making subsequent movies.  In fact it would probably work best as part of one movie with a series of vignettes or short stories focusing on a handfull of super heroes that probably don’t need a full movie. Think of it like all the marvel one shots they did that focused on Agent Coulson and Shield before they ever made shield it into a TV show.

No, not that “Shield” TV show.

Lets continue on however with the premise that this would be a full movie.  It is tough not to compare this non existent future movie that will never be made to other super hero movies, but as I work it out in my head I start thinking of the structure of Watchmen and the over all feel of Hancock.  Specifically the first half of Hancock before it went off the rails.

Ohhhhh before I jump into an actual outline, there is one big major thing that needs to be discussed; the villain. Who should it be?  As far as I know there were no great Darkhawk antagonists in the same way most major super heroes have an arch nemesis. A quick search of http://marvel.wikia.com/Category:Darkhawk_Villains shows nothing of much promise. All of his main adversaries were lame bad guys with suits kind of like his but not really, or random marvel 3rd string villains who usually take on spiderman.

So we are left with three options in my opinion. 1. Create a new villian… which, seems like more work than I want to do for this blog post… although i’m already closing in on 19 hundred words as I type this.  2. Use an established bad guy the hasn’t yet surfaced in another movies like Tombstone. or 3. Mold one of the Darkhawk villains like portal into something more interesting.

Since I don’t want to do an origin story, and I already mentioned that this would exist in the MCU and have references to previous battles and villains then I think a combination of two and three are the way to go.  I think use some established bad guys like tombstone or absorbing man in the maybe flashbacks / probably spoken references, and then use a modified portal as the main villain/obstacle Darkhawk has to overcome by the end of the movie.

So here is my pitch: A Darkhawk suit is terrorizing the same area Chris Powell has protected over the past three years causing friends, family, and fellow heroes to question if Chris is still in control of the suit or if he has succumbed to the suits dark impulses.

So Portal is the other darkhawk suit, and maybe the reason he is drawing out Chris is to try to cause him to lose control of the suit and the symbiotic bond they have.  This could later be revealed to have been orchestrated by Talon or Gyre or one of the other Order of Raptors.  Another idea might be that Portal thinks Darkhawk is one of the order and is part of another group that is sworn to kill off the last of the Raptors.  Portal is the last of his group and re purposed one of the suits back in the day to aid in his quest. Of course the hero has to be the underdog so I think portal should augment his suit even further with Savage Steel or maybe use him as a mini boss battle before taking on portal.

god I love comic book onomatopoeias

Lots of options. Lots of options. My next post will have me jumping into the outline and see if I can figure out some of these sticking points. As I go through I’m always going to err on the side of whatever would be cheapest or easiest since that’s the only way this movie, that will never ever ever happen, would get financed.

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TV’s expendables

http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.imfdb.org%2Fwiki%2FMacGruber&ei=7Kr6VKDXLouVNrKNhMgP&bvm=bv.87611401,d.eXY&psig=AFQjCNEGH-cdGjrfQPRbSOaeKtbAIApMyw&ust=1425800265282059So I’m stealing this idea from uproxx.com, big deal, it’s not like I am well known for ever coming up with anything original anyways.  I don’t remember the whole story as reported by uproxx but it had something to do with Sylvester Stallone and …Fox?? , some network, trying to do a TV version of the Expendables.  When I first read the headline I thought “Holy shit is that going to be awful” but then I thought, “Yeah I’ll watch the shit out of that.”

They did a run down of all the actors who should be on the show and I was amazed at some of the names they pulled.  Not because they were bad choices, but because I honestly forgot that half the shows existed at all. Before that article I would have struggled to come up with 10 legit actors that would qualify as TV action stars. Now, however I think I’m going to come up with my own list and try and pair it with their movie counter parts.

The Crew

Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) = Marshall Chandler (Kevin Sorbo)

Since Sylvester Stallone’s character was named after a character from two hit sitcoms (How I met your Mother and Friends), I decided to do the same with Sorbo’s character.  He will be the wise, grizzled, somewhat defeatist leader of the group. I think instead of flying a big ass plane every where, they instead use a big ass boat with some serious fire power on it. Maybe like a stealth hovercraft or something. It’s TV so it can’t be too expensive, but everything still can’t take place in the USA cause that kind of violence only happened on the A team.

Lee Christmas (Jason Statham) =  Levi Kwanza (Adrian Paul)

Named after a jeans company and religious holiday, Adrian Paul of Highlander fame will play the slightly younger heart throb role that Statham played in the movies.

Yin Yang (Jet Li) = Yang Yin (Dustin Nguyen)

Seriously. How the fuck did they get away with some of the names in this movie. If you are trying to remember who Dustin Nguyen was, he was the guy on 21 jump street who wasn’t white or Holly Robinson Peete.  I also thought another good choice for this category might be the guy who played Kung Lau on Mortal Kombat Konquest, but that only ran for one season so most people wouldn’t recognize him.

Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren) = Shooter Bose (Pablo Schreiber)

So I needed a tall guy who has acted as a boxer. If you watched Lights Out (which odds are you didn’t or it would still be on TV) then you would see that Pablo Schriber fits the bill. Granted he never actually boxed on the show but they kept alluding to him having been the better boxer if he hadn’t hurt himself.  He also was kind of a screw up and may or may not have his masters degree in chemical engineering. According to Google, both actors are 6’5″, but Pablo doesn’t have a very lengthy action movie/TV pedigree like Dolph has. Pablo was on The Wire so I think he is deserving of this spot.

Toll Road (Randy Coutuer) = Draw Bridge (Ken Shamrock)

Holy shit, what a stupid stupid inconceivably dumb, idiotic, stupid name. I get it that action movies have always had characters with stupid names, but seriously? Toll Road? Get the fuck out of here. Ok, here is a list of other names that Ken Shamrock’s character can use: Easy Pass, Turn Pike, Express Lane, Tariff Avenue.  Now that I’ve typed all those out I think, Turn Pike is probably the best.  I also considered Tito Ortiz, Steve Blackman, and Kurt Angle for this role as well.

Hale Cesar (Terry Crews) = Hale Cesar (Terry Crews)

You can’t do any better than that. …. but if we were going to maybe we could have Lorenzo Lamas play a character named Viva Che. No that’s terrible. Maybe a German named Heil Hilohmygod that would be a terrible terrible unconscionably offensive, idiotic, stupid name. Also I want to save Lorenzo Lamas for a more important role.

The Love interests

Lacy (Charisma Carpenter) = Silky (Paula Trickey)

Just like Charisma’s character, Silky will serve virtually no purpose to the overall plot of the TV show except to be super super hot and get men to fight over her. I’m also willing to let Blood Moongood fill this role.

Sandra (Giselle Itie) = Sondra (Tricia Helfer)

TH

 

Maybe I should find someone more exotic and a little more helpless, but Tricia was great on Battlestar Galactica… not the original one… ohhhhh that gives me an idea. wait nevermind, turns out Erin Gray from Buck Rogers is 65 so…. Not that she’s not still hot I’m sure it’s just… ok moving on.

Maggie (Nan Yu) = Maggy (Kristanna Loken)

Ok so I’ve started to go into the sequals to find more female characters… who all only have first names? What the fuck? If you don’t remember Mussetta, she played Taja on the mortal Kombat TV show.. Jesus I might just be obsessed with that show. Also if you don’t remember Taja.. well why would you. Anyways, Kristanna has done a ton of action stuff so she could kick some ass and not just be a helpless heroine like some of the other love interests on this list.

Luna (Ronda Rousey) = Solas (Hudson Leick)

I feel bad not putting someone of the same caliber as Ronda Rousey in this slot. Well maybe I shouldn’t since she is the most bad ass chick around right now, but I’m sure there is a real fighter we could find to fill this spot. Then again, remember how hot Calisto was on Xena Warrior Princess?   It should also be pointed out I guess that Luna’s character wasn’t really a love interest except when Antonio Banderas’s character was going full Pepe Le Pew after her. Fucking creepy really.

Handlers

Church (Bruce Willis) = Mass (Harry Dean Anderson )

I think this character choice makes me the happiest. I guess there could be more and more Rando guys to drop by in similar roles like in the movies with Drummer (Harrison Ford), Bonaparte (Kesley Gramar), and Trench (Ahnold), but I like the idea of having one Higgins type guy.

Actually let’s change something, yes there should be a Trench like character that is kind of the friendly competition / thorn in the side type of guy. I nominate Scott Bakula for that role.

Hench men

I don’t think I need to spend a lot of time matching up specific hench men/lieutenants/Mini-bosses with their counterparts in the movies since I think they are all fairly interchangeable. Yeah they are all suppose to be unique in some way, but they really aren’t. So here are the actors you can throw in there for half a season before they get got and you move on to the head honchos.

  • Goldberg
  • Lem – of course he will die via Kaboom
  • Daniel Bernhardt – God I love Mortal Kombat Konquest
  • Chris Potter – Kung fu legend continues / Silk Stalkings
  • Jason David Frank – Green Power ranger / White Power Ranger

Big Bads

Each season needs a big bad just like each new movie needed a head bad guy.

James Munroe (Eric Roberts) = John Midas (Tom Selleck)

I think Magnum P.I. could really pull off the role of a vilian real well. I’d hope he would only get captured at the end of the first season and resurface in the final season.

Jean Vilian (Jean-Claude Van Damme) = Zo Baguy (Lorenzo Lamas)

See what I did there? I think you do. I’m not going to explain it, but it’s perfect.

Stonebanks (Mel Gibson) = Rockwell (Brent Spinner)

Look I love me some Data, and I think he could pull of the manic energy that Gibson had. Hell, you could sub in Worf, or Commander Riker if you want and I will be happy with it…. No, I change my mind.

Stonebanks (Mel Gibson) = Rockwell (Denise Crosby)

ughhhhh, ok, if you won’t let me have her then maybe the dude who played sledge hammer? or the black side kick from that one show from the 80’s / 90’s. You know the one I’m talking about right? It’s not like there are a ton of people that could fit that category right? Maybe I’m talking about the helicopter pilot from Magnum P.I, or possibly the kind of ripped right hand man from Baywatch Nights. Or what about the black bounty hunter from Brisco County Jr? Shit. I just googled him and turns out his character was Lord Bowler and he died in real life in 2008.  Gregory Allen Williams and T.C are still alive though so that’s good.

Randoms

As I said before, there is a lot of room for the random Mickey Rourke / Chuck Norris type actors (TV level) to drop by as a random bad asses, spooks, suits, or whatever.  This could be a nice mix of the older guys where you give a nod to the guys that are probably too old to do any real action, and maybe some of the younger guys just looking to stop by and have some fun and blow shit up.

Old guys:

  • Gerald Mcraney
  • Lee Majors
  • Gil Gerard – Buck Rogers
  • Jan-Michael Vincent
  • Mr. T – obviously
  • Dirk Benedict – Face on A-Team / Starbuck on BSG
  • David Hasselhoff – ok I was wrong , this is the guy who should play the almost too self aware good guy but pain in the side role that Arnold Schwarzenegger plays in the movies.
  • Bruce Campbell – ok ok, maybe there can be two guys that are pain in the ass and blah blah blah

Young Guys:

  • Jeffrey Donovan – Michael from Burn notice
  • Tom Welling – Smallville’s not quite Superman
  • Zachari Levy – Chuck
  • Ana Torv – Fringe
  • Milo Ventimigila – Peter from Heroes
  • Naveen Andrews – Sayid

I just realized I’m pretty much just looking at random pages on IMDB that say they are suggestions from whatever I’m looking at at that moment and then just randomly putting in people in the young guys category. I stand by most of those above, but Peter from Heroes is probably a reach.

Ok Ignore the young guys section cause that could be just about anyone really, although I would really like to see Methos from Highlander the series show up… ok fuck it. Let’s be honest. I just want to see a crossover TV movie that combines Highlander the Series and Mortal Kombat Konquest.  I don’t care how you make it happen. Just make it happen, preferably before you start work on the Expendables TV show.