Sunday, 22 April 2012

Hollywood Babble On & On #887: Lobo Go/No Go?

Warner Bros. has hired Brad Peyton, the helmer of family hit Journey 2: The Mysterious Island to rewrite and direct a live action movie of the DC Comics character Lobo.

Now this has sparked some crankiness from some corners, since a director known for family adventures is planning to make a film about a character known for graphic violence and sleazy sexual content.  Those same people take some comfort in the tendency of the majority of DC's film/TV adaptations fizzling out in development.

Now if you're not familiar with Lobo and his oeuvre I'll  drop a little history on you...

Lobo began life as a mercenary and bounty hunter fighting The Omega Men in the early 1980s, but was quickly forgotten.

That was until the 1990s.

During the 1990s "bad-ass" anti-heroes were all the rage and the big two comic companies were eager to exploit it.  This was most obviously personified by Marvel Comics Wolverine and the company's use of him in just about every title or super-team they could cram him into.

Lobo was reborn as a parody of the "bad-ass anti-hero."  This incarnation he was the last of the Czarnians, because he killed all the others in a fit of juvenile whimsy. He roamed the stars looking for nothing more than violent kicks and intoxicating pleasures. This sometimes brought him in contact with the DC heroes, either to fight, or cooperate, depending on his mood.

Lobo became a bit of a sensation in the comics scene as he shifted from being a parody of others to becoming a parody of himself.  His adventures grew more and more ridiculous in just about every sense of the word and in every way. The characters also suffered from inconsistency that was pretty extreme even for a comic book character.  Depending on who was writing and drawing the book Lobo could be as strong as a large, but otherwise normal, human, or, be able to go toe-to-toe with Superman.  The only really consistent thing about his powers was that he was pretty much impossible to kill.

His solo comic died from over-exposure and the character was once again relegated to guest appearances in other character's comics and animated TV shows, but is being groomed for a big comeback as part of the "New 52."

Now Warner Bros. is looking to take Lobo to the big screen, let's look at the Pros & Cons.


1. At his peak the character was wildly popular.


1. That peak was 20 years ago, since then he's become symbolic of everything wrong about comics in the 1990s, which he was originally intended to parody.  Unlike Superman, Batman, or even Green Lantern, he's not very well known outside of the hardcore fan community.

2. It is highly unlikely that Warner Bros. or the general audience would catch on that he was supposed to be a parody of the over-the-top uber-violent over-sexed anti-heroes of the 1990s.  The studio will tempted to sanitize him, offending his remaining core fans, and the general audience would be tempted to just ignore him as something that only appeals to a narrow group of hardcore fans.

Personally, I don't really see this project going much farther past the development stage.  It just doesn't have legs in my opinion.



1 comment:

  1. Lobo is an odd property for a big-screen adaptation. The character was best-served (and most popular) when being illustrated by the immensely talented Simon Bisley, but Bisley's interpretation of the character is ill-suited for general consumption. I would think DC/Warner would be concentrating on getting their "big guns" such as Flash and Wonder Woman (and, to a lesser extent Hawkman, Atom and Aquaman) onto the silver screen, rather than concentrating on a character with a limited mass appeal.