' ' Cinema Romantico: 5 Potential Abel Ferrara Marvel Movies

Thursday, March 28, 2019

5 Potential Abel Ferrara Marvel Movies

At my screening of “Captain Marvel”, I sat next to, courtesy of the scourge of pre-selected seats, a couple little dudes who must have been 8 or 9 years old. In fairness, for being so young, they were as well behaved as I could have hoped even if occasionally they briefly chattered amongst themselves. But with roughly ten minutes left in the movie, the giant sodas and bags of Sour Patch Kids must have warn off because, my God, did circumstances change. Suddenly they wouldn’t pipe down about various intricacies within the Marvel universe. And though it was annoying, I mostly managed to block it out, and what annoyed me most, frankly, was not their semi-heated discussion but the state of superhero movie runtimes. “Captain Marvel” only ran two hours. If two hours wore them out, how could they make it through a longer Marvel movie?

Wouldn’t you know it, the very next week Marvel announced that its “Avengers: Endgame” would run three freaking hours and two minutes. How those two kids will survive 182 minutes without having complete meltdowns is beyond me. But then, these movies are for teenage boys, I guess, per the parlance of our times, not pre-teens and so the hell with those two little dudes. And to hell with me too, I guess. I don’t want to sit through three hours and two minutes of “Avengers: Endgame”! That’s not because I don’t like three hour movies, mind you, because I watched “Titanic” four times in the theater. No, that’s because the previous “Avengers” film had to spend, like a quarter of its run time just bringing its cavalcade of characters onto the screen, making the director as much a party host as an auteur, stopping every five minutes to tell you who these people are now. That’s why when I saw Scott Tobias’s tweet in the wake of this runtime announcement, I got to thinking, as I absolutely had to.

My oh my, what if an independent provocateur such as Ferrara was given the reins to one comic book movie character study infused with his patented grimy, (extremely) violent nihilism? I know, I know, these movies are for kids! But as we just established above, they are, in fact, not for kids because then they would not last so long. And if Marvel’s whole marketing strategy is just to keep bum-rushing the marketplace with content, why not let ol’ Abel generate a little content too?

5 Potential Abel Ferrara Marvel Movies

The Hulk. Ferrara specializes in monstrous main characters, whether it’s Christopher Walken’s mob boss in “King of New York” or Harvey Keitel’s “Bad Lieutenant”, so it only seems logical that if he went Marvel he’d explore a guy who turns into a literal monster. You could cast old Ferrara cohort Willem Dafoe as Bruce Banner, though I suspect Banner’d spend, like, 85% of the movie as The Hulk, smashing things from California to the New York island, incapable of un-Hulking and posing hard questions about whether forgiveness can be proffered when the transgressor has rendered a trillion billion in infrastructure damage.

Spider-Man. Peter Parker is protector of New York City, the very city Ferrara has frequently seen through a prism of brutality, depravity and filth, and so Ferrara’s “Spider-Man” would see the webbed warrior through that very same prism, his Spider-Man’s costume a little less red and blue and a little more, shall we say, putrefied. That means this Peter Parker would need to be Gen X, like if instead of going emo a la “Spider-Man 3” he was more akin to John Bender before he met Claire Standish, the webs he shoots and swings around on meant to symbolize what a tangled web your conformity and rules weave, man.

Scarlet Witch. According to one of the three dozen character biographies I found via the Google, the Scarlet Witch née Wanda Maximoff, saddled with the power of sorcery, wandered central Europe in the company of her brother Pietro, living off the land, after they were separated from their parents, “circumstances…so traumatic that not until well into adulthood could they remember anything but the barest details of their childhood.” So let’s have Ferrara go back in and fill in all those missing details, like a warped version of Jesus’s lost years, discovering it is difficult to love your fellow man when your fellow man keeps screaming that you should hate yourself, filmed in a grainy vérité emphasizing the squalor that goes hand-in-hand with living off the grid, becoming a literal witch-hunt in which, pursued by angry mobs, her hex bolts do not politely knock people back PG-13 style but graphically incinerate motherfuckers and savagely torch entire towns.

Tony Stark. It has long been (that is, since “Iron Man 2”) my dream to see an “Iron Man” movie where Tony Stark is never, not once, seen in the Iron Man suit, just in his well-tailored suits and ironic t-shirts as pithy playboy Tony Stark, thorn in The Man’s side, less superhero and more Van Heflin in “Johnny Eager”, imbibing cocktails and cracking wise. Of course, where Ferrara is concerned that is not near dark enough. No, his Tony Stark would have to become a Bad Superhero, one who loses the Iron Man suit playing Baccarat in Vegas and to get it back is offered millions of dollars by a U.S. Senator to assassinate the President’s insidious crony that the U.S. Senator is afraid will be pardoned for infinite nefarious deeds on the President’s behalf. Tony Stark agrees to fulfill the assassination, but before he can, the President announces denounces his crony, explaining no pardon will be forthcoming, leading Tony Stark to a dark night of the soul about the Deep State.

Captain America. America has splintered into a contentious confederation of states and Captain America wallows in self-disgust, anguished that he did not go down with the ship. He wanders the continent wearing remnants of his superhero armor, seeing Americans for what they really were, supercilious and squabbling and scared. As such, he becomes a Ronin reimagined as Randy Quaid in “Major League II”, wearing a helmet with the A crossed out, so convinced America should return to a pre-Constitutional Convention agrarian society that he takes jobs from pro-New Confederates to seek out and destroy supporters of re-unification.

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