PoP! Top 6-Pack: More Comics That Directors Should Write

The PoP! Stars narrow it down to the cream of the crop in categories ranging from (but not limited to) Comics, Movies, Toys and Geek Culture in general. This is the PoP! Top 6-Pack.

A few months ago, it was announced that Quentin Tarantino, one of the most well-known and iconic living movie directors, will soon be collaborating with comic writer Matt Wagner on an upcoming four-color Django / Zorro crossover comic for Dynamite. While this is truly an unusual occurrence, it does not mark the first time a film director has decided to tell a story within this distinct medium. Back in 2007, Richard Donner teamed with DC writer extraordinaire Geoff Johns on a well-received storyline in Action Comics, while Bryan Singer has long been rumored to have been working on an X-Men storyline that never quite made it to print. In anticipation of Tarantino’s first foray into comics, here are six more cinematic visionaries whose talents could help create some fine four-color tales as well.

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Kingpin: Year One by Martin Scorsese

Wilson Fisk has long been one of the most powerful criminal figures in the Marvel Universe, and there would be no one better to revamp his origin story than the director of some of the greatest urban crime films in modern cinema history. A chronicle of Fisk’s meteoric rise to the top of the New York criminal underworld, perhaps told from his own first-person narration, would be the perfect project for Scorsese, who has explored similar territory in modern classics like Goodfellas, The Departed, and even his most recent film, The Wolf of Wall Street, which focused on white-collar crime. By centering on the Kingpin’s own point of view and perhaps collaborating with a writer such as Brian Michael Bendis or Ed Brubaker, both of whom are quite familiar with the character, this could be one of the greatest crime comics Marvel has ever published.

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Ant-Man by Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish

Both comic and film fans were sorely disappointed by the news of Edgar Wright bowing out of the upcoming Ant-Man film, but that doesn’t mean that the script he worked on with longtime friend and fellow filmmaker Joe Cornish should languish in obscurity forever. It would truly be amazing if Marvel would publish Wright and Cornish’s original script as a limited series completely independent of their main comic universe, if only to see what kind of Ant-Man film we could have seen from the talented mind behind the “Cornetto Trilogy” and the film adaptation of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. It seems unlikely, especially with Peyton Reed’s retooled Ant-Man film coming to theaters next year, but perhaps one day Marvel and Wright will see eye to eye and agree to give us fans a taste of what could have been.

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Conan by John Milius

The original 1982 Conan The Barbarian film, directed and co-written by Hollywood wild man John Milius and featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first leading role, is still regarded as the best cinematic adaptation of Robert E. Howard’s famous sword-wielding Cimmerian. Milius has long expressed interest in making another Conan film but was never given the chance by the fickle powers that be in Tinseltown. Now, after a series of health problems and controversial films under his belt, he’ll probably never get a chance to direct another Conan film, but perhaps he can return to the character he triumphantly brought to the big screen via the comics page. A miniseries written by Milius would be wholly embraced by fans of Dark Horse’s current crop of Conan books as well as by fans of the 1982 film, many of whom were likely disappointed by the insipid 1984 sequel Conan The Destroyer and the poorly-received 2011 reboot.

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Doctor Strange by Guillermo Del Toro

Geek auteur Guillermo Del Toro is no stranger to comic book adaptations, having successfully brought Hellboy to the big screen twice. Del Toro has long been my personal favorite to bring Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Stephen Strange, to the big-screen, but now that the property is currently in the very capable hands of Sinister director Scott Derrickson, I would still love to see Del Toro’s signature style of horror-tinged fantasy applied to a Doctor Strange storyline in comic book form. Perhaps the story could involve the good Doctor battling a number of creatures that bear a strong resemblance to those found in his 2006 masterpiece Pan’s Labyrinth, though I’m also confident that Del Toro could think up some truly original new horrors for Strange to face in addition to some possible familiar foes like Dormammu and Baron Mordo.

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Ghost Rider by Robert Rodriguez

Hollywood has twice tried to bring Marvel’s bike-riding Spirit of Vengeance to the big screen and came up short both times in the eyes of many. One way they could have made a truly badass Ghost Rider film would have been to put it in the hands of a maverick filmmaker like Robert Rodriguez, whose 2005 Sin City was one of the greatest (and grittiest) comic book films of all time. Even with the film rights to the character now back Marvel Studios, we’re not likely to see a new Ghost Rider film anytime soon, much less one directed by a well-known independent auteur like Rodriguez, but a comic book written by him could potentially draw on many of his strengths as a filmmaker, especially the blending of over-the-top action with horror elements as seen in From Dusk Till Dawn and Planet Terror. If paired with the right artist, a Rodriguez-penned Ghost Rider comic could be a real treat for the eyes and could inject new life into a character who has been spinning his wheels (no pun intended) for the past five years.

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Devil Dinosaur and Moon Boy by Gareth Edwards

And now for something completely different. Giant reptilian monsters are all the rage now in Hollywood due to British director Gareth Edwards’ immensely successful reboot of the Godzilla franchise, and as we’ve all seen in the past, comic companies like to jump on what’s popular in other media and make books about them. One reptilian monster currently owned by Marvel Comics is a cult-favorite resident of the Savage Land named Devil Dinosaur, who along with his cave-buddy Moon Boy, pops up in the Marvel Universe from time to time. A Devil Dinsaur and Moon Boy comic penned by Gareth Edwards would play to his strengths as a filmmaker in terms of staging awesome monster fights while not focusing as much on his weakness regarding how human characters are portrayed. Perhaps a pairing with a more experienced comic writer can help him with this particular shortcoming, but as long as he crafts enough creature-on-creature violence as well as he did with Godzilla, readers will likely feel like they got their money’s worth.

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Who ARE these people!?

Ben Gilbert is an avid comic and movie fan, father of two amazing kids, and husband to one awesome chick. He resides in the hills of East Tennessee and still doesn't quite know what he wants to be when he grows up.

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