Even though The Incredible Hulk performed slightly under expectations ($5 million short of the projected $60 gross), Louis Leterrier is quickly becoming a name to be reckoned with in comic book movie circles. And some of his comments in the press junket for The Incredible Hulk lead fans to believe that the film will not be the last comic adaptation which will feature Leterrier’s name in the credits.
First and formost might be Incredible Hulk 2. The sequel to Friday’s opening is not set in stone just yet, but as of June 16th, the film had made over $92 million worldwide. This is over two-thirds of its $150 Million budget and a good sign that the film will make a profit. If it does, and word of mouth is strong on the film so it probably will, a sequel might be inevitable.
Not only does Leterrier seem receptive to returning for another shot at the Jade Giant, but he appears open to involving the fans in the process. He recently told MTV News the following regarding possible villains for the sequel:
I think that if we get to ‘Hulk 2′ I would go to Comic-Con and ask the crowd of people that actually love the movies, which one would you prefer to see, (Doc) Samson or the Leader?
I’ll keep an eye out if Leterrier is there at San Diego this year so I can cast my vote.
But the sequel is not the only comic book movie that the director might be involved with. In a recent interview with IGN.com, Leterrier expressed interest in bring two other Marvel properties to the big screen, Runaways and 1602.
The most likely of the two would be Runaways. Last month, it was announced that series co-creator Brian K. Vaughan, currently a co-producer and writer on ABC’s Lost, had started working on a script adapting his creation to the silver screen.
Leterrier had this to say about the property:
I know they are doing The Runaways and I really love The Runaways. I think it’s a really good, smart comic book and I really like it.
The concept, a group of teenagers who runaway from home when they find out their parents are superhuman criminals, seems to be right up Leterrier’s alley. The story should be filled with suspense, chases and action.
However, the project the director is most enthusiastic about is Neil Gaiman’s miniseries 1602. He gushes:
You know what I’d love to do? 1602. I’d love to do that because it’s so different. That’s why Kevin [Feige, Marvel Studios honcho] and all of these guys are so smart because superhero movies will sort of fade away. If they keep them separate, people are going to get bored of them. How many Hulk movies, how many Spider-Man movies can you see? But by making them cross-pollinate and crisscross and have different stories and good guys become bad guys and all of that stuff… that will make them good. But 1602 is great because it’s another take on the superhero. It’s almost like Freaks and Clash of the Titans and all of this stuff that I love. And Neil Gaiman is a genius.
Unfortunately, while 1602 was a great series, adapting it to the screen would be a logistical nightmare. The story, which relocates the heroes of the Marvel Universe back in time to Elizabethan age, has a cast which features the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Daredevil–whose film rights are controlled by Fox, Spider-Man–whose film rights are controlled by Sony, and Doctor Strange and Nick Fury–who I’m sure Marvel would like to headline their own movies at some point.
On top of that, the concept might be manna for the hardcore comic fan, who is schooled in the histories and origins of these characters, but it could be difficult for the uninitiated to follow.
But if these two aren’t enough, Leterrier has other comic properties he’d like to see made. He gave a list to the Los Angeles Times, although many of the projects are in the works with other directors. The list includes both Runaways and 1602 and other properties such as:
- The Avengers: A film of which is scheduled for a 2011 release. No writer or director is currently attached.
- The Adventures of Tintin: The European comic series which is set to be adapted as a live-action trilogy by Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson. Spielberg is set to direct the first film, Jackson the second, and they will co-direct the third.
- The Boys: The ultraviolent Garth Ennis comic which takes a darky skewed look at the world of superheroes. The rights to the property have been acquired by Columbia Pictures.
- Y: The Last Man: Another Brian K. Vaughan comic, telling the tale of the only male to survive a plague which wiped out every other man in the world. DJ Caruso is attached to direct with his Disturbia star Shia LeBeouf in negotiations to star.
- Fables: The Vertigo comic book about fairy tale character exiled to the real world was being developed by CBS as a possible TV show in 2005, but it never made it to the air.
Of the projects mention without a director attached, Leterrier might be the best fit for The Boys. It will have to be toned down a bit for the screen, but the concept lends itself to the action movie genre that Leterrier has the most experience in.