NYCC: Grant Morrison Talks HAPPY! Film Adaptation

Photo by Margaret Walther.

I would venture to say that most people were caught by surprise by the speed with which Grant Morrison and Darrick Robertson’s comic book miniseries Happy! was optioned to be adapted into a film just a few weeks after the first issue hit the stands.

This weekend at New York Comic Con, Morrison talked briefly about how he met with the project’s attached director The RZA and how the two were instantly simpatico –

He got in touch. He was interesting in seeing the comic. We met in Los Angeles and the first thing that we started talking about was UFOs. The minute we sat down, the first words out of his mouth were “So, the UFOs, then?” And the two of us were instantly bonded from that moment on. He’s obviously a cool guy and interested in the same stuff I am. He had a take on the material, and a viewpoint that I like.

Morrison also elaborated a bit as to the inspiration for the comic’s story of a corrupt ex-cop turned hit man who finds himself the onlying one seeing Happy, a talking, miniature, blue horse with wings who dispenses all sorts of cherry advice, admitted that the idea was inspired by a song by the Hollies.

I was listening to this song called “Pegasus.” It was a really creepy song. I quite like the Hollies and I don’t want these guys to hear me continually saying that their songs are creepy, I actually enjoy their songs. It’s just that this one is particularly creepy. It’s about a flying horse, a pegasus, and if you take drugs you see this flying horse, which is what I think the song is about. And into my head came this notion that imagine if this thing was real because the song is sort of sickening and saccharine, that really makes you want to vomit when you listen to it. And I thought imagine this animal is real, because a pegasus shouldn’t make me want to vomit! Suddenly the notion of if you were the most cynical man on the earth suddenly stuck with this little cartoon horse who is indefatigably cheerful and really irritating… If you could imagine Martin Lawrence while I’m doing this thing. So I kind of saw it as that. It just seemed like the ultimate buddy movie idea of having these complete opposites plunged into a ridiculous story involving pedophile Santa Clauses and drugs and sex.

Morrison is signed to write the script for the film. But the project is in its earliest stages, it doesn’t even have any financing yet, so a finished project could be quite a way off if it ever happens. We’ll be watching.

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About Rich Drees 7219 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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