Deadpool has changed the superhero movie landscape in more than one way. In one fell swoop, it single-handedly proved the viability of an R-rated blockbuster, shattering records left and right on its way to becoming the highest grossing X-Men movie of all time. This in turn led to every competitor looking inward, poring through their respective stables of superheroes to find their own version of the Merc with a Mouth. Over at DC, it looks like its done just that too, as plans for Lobo have officially gone into effect.
For anyone whose first reaction to that news is “who?”, here’s a quick rundown: Lobo is an intergalactic bounty hunter created by DC back in 1983. The character is one who’s as ruthless as he is self-centered, with a name that translates to “he who devours your entrails and thoroughly enjoys it.” He’s the last of the Czarnian race of aliens, having killed off his entire race for no other reason than because he could, and he’s infamous for his shameless fixation on violence in all of its forms. Basically, he’s Deadpool in an even more murder-y and less meta form, and the timing couldn’t be better for his movie to go into production.
Details concerning the project are scarce, but what we do know is that Wonder Woman writer Jason Fuchs will be penning the screenplay. And it appears that the upcoming Lobo movie will feature the grittier original version of Lobo rather than the more distinguished looking version introduced in the New 52 DC Comics reboot.
The movie has spent years wallowing in development hell up until recently. In April of 2012, a Don Payne-written script was taken on for rewrites by Brad Peyton (San Andreas), but saw little movement as concerns for Lobo‘s viability and DC’s greater Superman-centric plans arose. Thanks to the massive success of Deadpool though, there are few if any roadblocks to prevent the biker antihero from shining in his own feature film soon.
[Update, 6/8/16: Added Instagram post from writer Jason Fuchs.]
The comparisons to Deadpool truly are a blessing, but they’re also a curse. The bar has been set incredibly high by Tim Miller’s own antihero movie, and anything Lobo does will immediately run up against one question: “Was it better or worse than Deadpool?” DC will have its work cut out for it trying to differentiate its own film from its spiritual predecessor, especially within a superhero universe that’s made a concerted effort to avoid lightness and humor at every turn. The worst-case scenario is a Lobo movie that takes itself far too seriously, and it’s not entirely impossible DC ends up taking that tact when it’s all said and done.
That said, there’s still reason to hope. If Lobo can be a welcome diversion from an otherwise serious-minded DC/Warner superhero universe, it’ll exceed expectations in a big way. The biggest hurdle DC will have to clear concerns a potential R-rating; not even Suicide Squad was brave enough to go any further than PG-13, and it’s hard to imagine a Lobo movie that does the same. If the R-rated Batman v Superman director’s cut was any indicator though, the realm of R-rated superheroes is one DC is at least exploring for the time being.
Until we begin to see more news come out of the studio concerning the movie, it’s hard to get a sense for what DC is planning to do here. Lobo is a character who certainly won’t be easy to pull off in movie form, despite the efforts of Warner to get it into production for almost half a decade now. It’ll take a skilled directorial hand, a solid script, and a perfectly-suited lead akin to Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool. If DC can manage all that, they could have the next game-changing comic book movie on their hands. Anything less than that has the potential to blow in their faces and set the R-rated superhero craze back by years, so needless to say, the stakes are high.
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