Looks like not all of Joel Silver‘s long-simmering DC Comics projects (er, sorry — DC Entertainment) have been recalled. He’s been moving veerrrryyy slowly on a Sgt. Rock adaptation, with a few scripts written over the years, but now finally has some forward momentum. If things go well, we might soon have a Sgt. Rock film written by Chad St. John and directed by Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend, Constantine).
The character has been battling through the DC Universe since the late ’50s, and became popular enough that his book Our Army at War was renamed Sgt. Rock in the late ’70s. Appropriately enough, he was a WWII character, serving to shepherd a young reader’s gestating image of US soldiers in the aftermath of the Korean War, as Vietnam raged, and through the ugly fallout of the latter. Did Rambo and other mid to late ’80s war figures make the character obsolete? In comics, perhaps, as the book was canceled in ’88. But in a different world that would have been a transition point to film, since that’s around when Silver began trying to mount a production.
Now things are happening, but not as a WWII picture. THR says that the story is being moved to an unspecified point in the future, to get over the hump of trying to mount a big WWII film without spending an insane amount of money. Kind of difficult to see how a movie depicting a war set in the future is going to cost any less, but until someone gets a hold of St. John’s script we’ll wait and see. Seems like a fairly ridiculous move, despite the fact that Rock has appeared in some Earth 2 stories; he’s really and truly a WWII character, and if I remember correctly the core version of the character was said to have been killed by the last bullet fired in the war.
This probably won’t be going any time soon; the trade mentions that Lawrence is likely to do Water For Elephants next, and if he and Will Smith can come up with an I Am Legend prequel/sequel that everyone likes, that could also take precedence over Sgt. Rock. But the soldier has waited a few decades already, so another couple years won’t hurt.