Despite a pending takeover by Disney, Fox are apparently going full steam ahead with Marvel character movies, including a Silver Surfer film penned by Brian K. Vaughan.
With a staggering eight X-Men titles scheduled for release between now and the end of 2020, Fox are going about business as usual despite a pending takeover by Disney. In fact the studio is also looking to expand their output with films based on characters associated with the Fantastic Four franchise.
Fox were one of the studios that optioned Marvel characters in the 1990s when the latter was facing bankruptcy. Maintaining those rights rely simply on Fox releasing an X-Men or Fantastic Four movie every few years. Failure to do so would result in rights to the characters reverting to Marvel.
A much publicised potential takeover of certain Fox operations by Disney, Marvel’s parent company, could potentially reunite the fractured family of superheroes. In the meantime, Fox are moving ahead with plans to capitalise on characters adjacent to the Fantastic Four franchise. These include a standalone Doctor Doom film, and now The Hollywood Reporter suggest that a Silver Surfer movie is also in the works.
Enlisted to write for the film is comics author Brian K. Vaughan. Vaughan’s most famous works include Image Comics’ ‘Saga’ and Vertigo Comics’ Y: The Last Man.
The Silver Surfer is and always has been my favourite Marvel Comics character. The compelling story of sacrifice, solitude and lost love as the man Norrin Radd. This juxtaposed with unspeakably horrific deeds committed as the Herald of Galactus, followed by the ultimate redemption through the saviour of the human race. This bleak tale resonates with me still.
The sombre nature of the Silver Surfer who has lost everything to save everyone could and should be a glorious cinematic adventure. Yet, I’m worried.
Fox’s last treatment of the character in 2007, ‘Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer’, was simply horrible. Further still, Marvel’s recent long-running comic book run written by Dan Slott took cues from Doctor Who by turning the Surfer into a lovable, galaxy roaming softy with a human companion who visits wacky worlds and eats ice-cream.
Many enjoyed this lighter take on the character. I hated every page of every instalment. And yes I bought them all,
partly because my ten year old daughter enjoyed them, and partly because reading them myself made me feel how the Surfer should. Cold, alienated and lost.
It’s mainly this comic vision that fills me with the most dread when news of a Silver Surfer film came to light. Should the filmmakers choose to take inspiration from Slott’s slapstick, weird and wacky version of the Surfer it will officially break my heart.
I have been waiting my entire life for a good Silver Surfer movie, and now is the perfect time to achieve this. If Fox can tap into the humanity within the Surfer’s origin story. If they can replicate the look of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. And if they can do justice to the grandeur of Galactus on the big screen then this could be a spectacular and poignant film.
Until any of that happens, I’m expecting the worst.