Mark Millar’s comic series Wanted has a fascinating premise: an average twentysomething working chump suddenly discovers he’s the son of a deceased supervillain and has inherited both his notoriety and his uncanny marksmanship skills. He also learns that a cabal of villains long ago wiped out the world’s superheroes, and they’ve since been secretly controlling the planet. It was a pretty novel concept that sadly turned out to be tedious and simplistic and self-consciously vulgar and dragged out for six issues.
But Universal doesn’t give a shit what I think (a common, and probably wise, perspective) and is making a movie based on the book. Now they’ve got a director to deliver this tale of murder and mayhem within the super-criminal ranks: Timur Bekmambetov, the man responsible for the blockbuster Russian supernatural thriller Night Watch (not to be confused with the Ewan McGregor/Nick Nolte flick), which began chronicling the eternal struggle between the forces of Light and Darkness.
As disappointing as I found the story, I can’t fault the potential visual appeal, courtesy of the book’s cinematic style and nifty costume designs by artist J.G. Jones and the slick, energetic filmmaking on display in Bekmambetov’s trilogy-starter (Day Watch is in post-production). Perhaps go-to scribes Derek Haas and Michael Brandt (2 Fast 2 Furious, upcoming Spy Hunter, Matt Helm) can provide characters I actually like, rather than just a clunky deconstruction of the superhero genre filled with in-your-face attitude and ultraviolence.