Barry Sonnenfeld has been dropping hints about signing on to another comic book adaptation, this one based on a 1960’s comic book. The Vulture thinks it knows what that project is.
The pop culture blog of New York magazine claims that “their spies” have told them that the Addams Family and Men in Black films will be tackling the kitcshy DC Comics characters the Metal Men for Warner Brothers.
Created in 1962 by Robert Kanigher, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito, the team consists of six robots created by a brilliant robotist named Doctor Will Magnus. Magnus came up a device called a “responsometer” that gave robots the capacity for independent thought and individual personalities. The doctor put these responsometers into robots composed of six metals–Gold, Iron, Lead, Mercury, Tin and Platinum. When the robots came to life, the became shape-shifting heroes whose personalites and powers mimicked the metals of which they were made (Mercury became a viscous humanoid with a mercurial personality, Tin was the weakest of the group and therefore crippled with self-doubt, etc).
The team was a trademark of the goofiness of DC’s Silver Age, where anything goes whether it makes sense or not. Six-foot tall robots made out of Gold and Platinum would have cost billions to create even in 1962, and Lead and Mercury would have had an added “super power” of causing kidney failure. Their main archenemy was a vat of toxic chemicals in a giant, human shaped shell called Chemo that could come to life, walk around, and spit a chemical concotion at the team. Platinum was a female robot whose main character trait was wanton lust for her creator, Will Magnus.
But all of this gave the Metal Men a goofy kind of charm, one which Sonnenfeld would be best at translating to the screen. Of course, that is if they do make it to the screen. The Metal Men are completely unknown by the general public, which would make a film a risky venture. Top that off with Sonnenfeld, who doesn’t work for free, and six characters that will have to completely CGI to be effective, you are facing an expensive film. And to be done right, the script has to be a bit silly and a little goofy, a light-hearted picture that doesn’t jibe with Jeff Robinov’s idea that darker is better when it comes to superhero films. These are big hurdles to overcome before the concept makes it to the big screen.