defenders of the earth

SBC as Mandrake

Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat, Brüno, The Dictator) has signed on as the lead in the upcoming film ‘Mandrake the Magician.’ The Warner Bros. flick, which has been in development for years and gone through many hands, seems to finally be moving forward. The adaptation of the 1934 syndicated comic strip drawn by Lee Falk is said to bring the story up-to-date and into the 21st Century. Sources are saying that the plan is for Mandrake to be recruited by the United States government for a secret mission requiring his skills and abilities. (more…)

80s

There was a time when what could arguably be dismissed as “kids’ stuff” (comics, cartoons, toys, video games) had little or no chance at being adapted into successful, never mind respectable movies. Hell, to make Superman – the most famous and universally recognized comic book character on Earth – into a film people took seriously, they had to put Marlon Brando in the cast and get the author of The Godfather to write the script.

Things have changed: Nowadays studios drool over the chance at getting their mitts on nerdy properties. The children who grew up with cartoons, action figures, and comic books are now the adults buying movie tickets and DVDs/Blu-Rays. Marvel is close to becoming better known as a film studio than a comics publisher, video game flicks are no longer a running joke in the movie business, and cartoons designed to sell children overpriced hunks of plastic are now fodder for summer blockbusters.

Now, however much we as nerds want to see Michael Bay die in a fire for what he did to our sacred Transformers (or what he’s currently doing to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), it’s impossible to argue that the man made serious bank for Paramount. Sure, Bay might bathe in the tears of geeks, but the financial success he’s had is opening doors for live action adaptations of many of the programs we grew up with (some of which probably won’t completely suck).  GI Joe: Rise Of Cobra may have been underwhelming, but its long-awaited sequel is proving to be a smash hit with audiences, critics, and nerds alike. A Robotech adaptation is reportedly in the works, and there’s been a great deal of talk about a Masters Of The Universe live action film that might actually take the subject matter seriously.

But what about the shows from our childhoods that are not quite as well-remembered? Shows that were largely forgotten by all but hardcore ’80s nerds? Could any of them possibly be resurrected as serious, profitable, well-received live action films? Well, here are ten we think might have a shot:

(more…)