J. Michael Straczynski Penning Video Game Adaptation Shattered Union, Still on Paul Greengrass Project
Posted on Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 by Russ Fischer
UPDATE: Since publishing this, /Film reader Eneko Ruiz pointed me to Straczynski’s own site, where an email he reprints (from Oct 24) suggests that he’s not actively working on Silver Surfer. JMS writes: “My guess is that since my draft was closely tied into FF2, which is ancient now, they’ve struck off in a different direction.” Original article follows, but I deleted ‘Still on Silver Surfer’ from the original title of this piece.
The game Shattered Union only came out in 2005, but I doubt too many people remember it. The PC and Xbox turn-based strategy title speculated on a political future in which the US sees states seceding from the Union after the second-term retention of the most unpopular president in the nation’s history. Now Jerry Bruckheimer is setting a film version up at Disney, and has tapped J. Michael Straczynski to write.
If the film can go into production relatively quickly, it’ll be the action film for the right wing, as it depicts an unpopular presidency, the subsequent destruction of Washington DC, the death of the President, most of Congress and the cabinet and the splintering of the US. It could be like Red Dawn without any latent sense of humor, i.e. Glenn Beck’s favorite movie. And this will be from Disney/Touchstone? Believe it when you see it.
The Variety trade break also gives us a minor update on the Silver Surfer movie and They Marched Into Sunlight, the JMS script for a Vietnam war and protest movie based on the book by Pulitzer-winning author David Maraniss that has had Paul Greengrass attached for some time. Namely, both are still kicking; he’s still writing Silver Surfer, and Greengrass is still attached to They Marched Into Sunlight at Universal. The latter is the film we’re probably more likely to hear about soon, and even then we may not get any significant info on the film until Universal opens Green Zone and gets some returns.
JMS once described his Silver Surfer script as an immediate continuation of the story in the second Fantastic Four movie:
I was writing it as FF2 was about to come out, and the theory was for it to pick up literally the next frame after the FF2 movie, where you find out why Silver Surfer was there and what happened to him. We would have seen Galactus, his home world, what happened and him trying to get back there, because now that he’s betrayed Galactus, he’s concerned his home world might be in jeopardy.
But with the lack of enthusiasm about FF2, I’d be surprised if the script remains the same. Frankly, I’m surprised that JMS is still on the film; how much forward momentum does this one really have?