Deadline is reporting that a deal has been reached for the rights The Human Fly, the star of a Marvel Comics comic book which ran for 19 issues from 1977 to 1979. The producers are aiming to bring character to the big screen with an independent release.
Independent release, you might say? Well, aren’t all Marvel Comics characters that appeared in their comics over the years owned by Marvel, who is owned by Disney, who is a major studio? Yes, they are, unless it was, say, a comic book based on a real-life stuntman that Marvel licensed to cash in on a popular pop culture phenomenon of the day.
The Human Fly was a Canadian stunt daredevil, one of many that rose up in the wake of Evel Knievel. The Human Fly did public stunts, albeit with a twist. He had a comic book costume, complete with a full luchador-style mask that hid his identity, and he would donate a portion of the profits to charity.
As part of the promotional push for The Human Fly, the people working with the anonymous stuntman contacted Marvel Comics to see if they would be interested doing a comic book series about their business associate. Marvel, thinking they were getting into business with the next Evel Knievel, jumped at the chance. Unfortunately, The Human Fly’s career had no buzz to it (Sorry) and the comic book lasted just over a year and a half before being cancelled.
Deadline’s Dominic Patten makes the film out to be your prototypical superhero film, even bringing up the fact that Marvel characters such as Spider-Man and Daredevil cameoed in the Human Fly’s series. However, a cursory search of the Internet would bring you to thehumanflymovie.com, which, like Patten’s article, lists Steve Goldmann as the director and Tony Babinski as the writer of the film. It also includes the film clip I’ve embedded below, which is a snippet of a documentary account of The Human Fly’s short life on the world stage where Goldmann and Babinski are once again credited as director and writer.
From the looks of the site and the above clip, I doubt that we will be getting a superhero film like Patten thinks but instead either a fictionalized version of the real-life Human Fly’s story or, more likely, a documentary about the costumed daredevil. Also, not to kick a fellow journalist when he’s down. it appears that the Human Fly was not Joe Ramacieri like he stated, as the film clip shows Ramacieri as one of the men behind the gimmick. That same cursory search of the Internet would have told Patten that the Human Fly was most likely a stuntman named Rick Rojatt, a fact confirmed by the man who built one of his stunt bikes.
So, The Human Fly might not be the next comic book superhero film to come down the pike. But that might not be that bad because the real life story seems far more interesting.