IVP - Strangely Dim - Superhero Movies I May Have to Make Myself

December 9, 2004

Superhero Movies I May Have to Make Myself

By David A. Zimmerman

Every one of us has a choice: we can (1) sit on our hands waiting for our dreams to fall into our laps, or (2) go out and make our dreams happen.

Personally, I prefer option 1. Who has time to make all their fantasies into realities? And why should every thought in my head be actualized anyway? I mean, come on, are my thoughts really that substantial?

We live in an age, however, where so much progress is being made that every passing thought, no matter how abstract, has a certain potentiality to it. My house is littered with scraps of paper on which I've written the title to my next treatise or the undiscovered rhyme that will revolutionize popular music or the joke that will kill at our next party. I write these things down so I won't lose them while I'm tending to my household chores--they're too important to let pass.

But some fantasies, no matter how important we make them out to be, will never become reality. Films on the docket for the near future include A-list superheroes--Spider-Man 3, Superman Returns, Batman Begins, X-Men 3, Fantastic 4 (wait a minute--I never saw Fantastic 1-3!)--but nowhere to be found are the films I make up in my head using characters that only people trapped in a high school locker might recognize:

Cloak and Dagger: Two orphans living on the street are kidnapped by drug dealers and exposed to toxins that make one the embodiment of darkness, the other the bearer of light. They're heroes, they're recovering addicts; they're dependent on each other, they exist in complete contradiction to one another.
 Daredevil: Born Again: A blind devil with ESP thinks he's an orphan but discovers that his mother is a nun after his drug-addict ex-girlfriend sells him out to the mob, which then systematically deconstructs his life and tries to kill him.
The Black Panther: The leader of an African country summers in the United States, where he fights crime and endures systemic discrimination and rampant nationalism.

I have others, believe me. And I'm not alone. I've encountered people who have moved heaven and earth to see such dreams become reality: the guy who sews superhero costumes for himself and his wife every Halloween; the guy who pours money into "previews" of superhero films, such as Grayson, he'd like to see in the theater; the woman who nearly fainted from excitement when she met the guy who created the character she was dressed as.

There's a euphoria that comes with the fulfillment of dreams--even little dreams--that can hardly be matched elsewhere. But not all dreams come true, nor should they. The life I'm living now is not the life of a rock star, a superhero, the president of the United States or a spiritual guru--all of which are lives I've dreamed for myself. The life I'm living now is much more simple than all that: enjoying my friends and family, finding satisfaction in my labors and trusting myself and my future to a good God. It's a good life, and for the most part I didn't do much to make it happen. It pretty much came to me--kind of the way dreams do.

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Check out my latest dream come true at www.ivpress.com/zimmer-man.

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at December 9, 2004 8:46 AM Bookmark and Share

Comments

Wow. That Grayson movie has all kinds of superheroes! Supes, WonderWoman, even the GL! The trailer wasn't working, so all I could see was the slideshow. Even so, those folks put all kinds of energy and money into making their dream movie (trailer, at least) happen.

BTW, right on with the Cloak and Dagger call. Those two are very interesting characters.

Do you remember the "New Universe" series? I think "Justice" would be an interesting character to see on the Big Screen.

In terms of what might actually be possible in today's market, though, I think a movie of "The Power Pack" would be easiest to make happen: cute children, sibling/parental/family dynamics issues (nothing says "funny" like family sit-coms!), as well as the saving the world aspect make it a good fit for today's movie market.

Comment by: Macon at December 10, 2004 11:36 AM

Just to finish off any pretense to my not being a fanboy: have you seen the new Justice League Unlimited on Cartoon Network? Seriously, they've got all kinds of B-level superheros in addition to the A-level ones. The best part of watching the cartoon (which is quite good in and of itself) is trying to identify the background superheros who are fighting evil while the A-list superheros engage in dialogue.

Comment by: Macon at December 11, 2004 10:02 PM

Macon:

Good call on Power Pack. I only read a little bit of that, but I'm surprised nothing film or television ever came of it. I never read New Universe; I'll have to look for Justice. Good name.

You're the second to tell me about the Justice League Unlimited this weekend. (You're actually the first, but I took Friday off and didn't read your comment till today.) I've seen ads and read a bit about it. It looks awesome; I've been impressed by the Justice League Animated Series so far, so I'd imagine the new series is following in its footsteps. I've seen pictures of Supergirl and Green Arrow from the series, but I can't recall who else is in it.

Comment by: dave at December 13, 2004 8:09 AM

Well, if you named any DC superhero, you'd have a good chance of naming someone who was in JLU. I mean, Booster Gold is a recurring character! Talk about B-level! :-)

Comment by: Macon at December 13, 2004 12:12 PM

hey Zimmer-man, how the heck can we get ahold of you?

Comment by: Damon Barnum at December 15, 2004 9:08 AM

Hey Zimm,
I got your book today in the mail...thanks very much! I look forward to reading it. Sorry I didn't get the news in time to make to your Book Bash at Borders on the 7th, I would have liked to come. I haven't worked much on my character idea in quite awhile, but getting your book was a good reminder to me of all those ideas and other stuff that remains undone in my life (so thanks alot). I would love to get together sometime and hear more about what God is up to in your life. I really enjoyed the few blog entries I read, you are a talented and funny writer.
Shalom,
Jeff Frazier

Comment by: Jeff at December 16, 2004 5:41 PM

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Behind the Strangeness

Lisa Rieck is a reader and writer who likes to discuss good ideas over hot drinks and gets inspired by the sky. She takes in all kinds of good ideas as a proofreader for InterVarsity Press.

Rebecca Larson is a writer/designer/creative type who has infiltrated IVP's web department, where she writes and edits online content. She enjoys a good pun and loves the smell of freshly printed books.

David A. Zimmerman is an editor for Likewise Books and a columnist for Burnside Writers Collective. He's written three books, most recently The Parable of the Unexpected Guest. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/unexpguest. Find his personal blog at loud-time.com.

Suanne Camfield is a publicist for InterVarsity Press and a freelance writer. She floats ungracefully between work, parenting and writing, and (much to her dismay) finds it impossible to read on a treadmill. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and blogs at The Rough Cut.

Likewise Books from InterVarsity Press explore a thoughtful, active faith lived out in real time in the midst of an emerging culture.

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