MTV wants Atomic Robo: The Movie!

Team Robo got to end 2009 with a few pleasant surprises. First up was a great article at MTV encouraging Hollywood to make an Atomic Robo movie:

WHY IT WORKS: “Atomic Robo” has the heart of a pulp and the head of a utopian sci-fi franchise, making it feel at home somewhere between J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek” reboot, Guillermo del Toro’s “Hellboy” films and every Indiana Jones movie that doesn’t involve crystal skulls.

Like Hellboy, Robo is an outsider who protects mankind in an unspoken effort to “earn” a humanity he already has. Like Indiana Jones, he’s a born adventurer with a blatant disregard for semantics despite being well versed in them. Like Captain Kirk, he commands brilliant people united for a common purpose. That’s why things ended up working out pretty well for Robo. His triumphs have rendered him a beloved hero and the world trusts him to keep it going with the power of science.

HOW TO DO IT: Live-action cinema would be ideal, but serialized animation may be the safer bet for now. Despite continuous, seemingly exponential, advancements in special effects technology, Hollywood may not be patient enough for a hero without a proper human face.

“Iron Man” has acclimatized viewers to a hero with a robotic, computer-animated appearance, but Tony Stark’s relatively unemotional mask is balanced by interior shots of an ever-present — and very human — Robert Downey Jr. Since the spotlight should shine brightest on Robo, whoever took on an AR film would need to resist the temptation to lean on the series’ supporting cast to convey human feelings.

For now it may be best to test the waters a bit by adapting AR’s comics stories care of a sufficiently-funded CGI adventure. As long as producers balance characterization with ample action and artists base their images on Wegener’s kinetic lines, everything that makes the comic unique could easily shine through whatever sized screen it was shown on.

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IO9.Com also honored Atomic Robo and the Shadow from Beyond Time as one of the Top 100 Comic Covers of the Last 10 Years! Living Between Wednesdays also named the series one of the best of 2009:

Atomic Robo is possibly the perfect action comic. It’s funny, suspenseful, filled with explosions… I have never been less than delighted while reading it. Heck, if nothing Atomic Robo had come out this year but the Free Comic Book Day adventure – in which Robo has a firefight with one Dr Dinosaur whilst arguing that Dr Dinosaur couldn’t possibly exist – then I would be mentioning it here. As it happens, however…

The Shadow From Beyond Time involves Robo’s encounters with an extradimensional entity that exists outside of our concept of time and thus attacks him while existing backwards, from the present day to the 1910s. Robo first encounters it when the fantastic duo of Charles Fort and HP Lovecraft – who had fought the creature’s first iteration at Tunguska with Robo’s creator Nikola Tesla – show up seeking help against its second appearance. And then the creature possesses Lovecraft’s head.

It just gets better from there on, with appearances by Carl Sagan and the Fightin’ Scientists of Tesladyne, and is a perfect continuation of one of my favourite series ever. – JM

On a final note, the Atomic Robo costume continues to evolve, now with Robo-approved Webley Mk.6’s. Guaranteed to get you stopped at the airport!

5 Responses to “MTV wants Atomic Robo: The Movie!”

  1. Ben Thomas Says:

    Please, please, please don’t let them make a live action movie of Atomic Robo. Robo has rekindled a joy for reading comics in me that I haven’t felt since I picked up my first Spider-Man comic as a kid in the early eighties. I know that it’s flattering to have Hollywood knock on your door and ‘legitimise’ what you do and throw bucket loads of cash at you in the process, but they will kill everything that makes Robo great. They’ll rip out any but the most cursory reference to Tesla and science in general and replace it with gratuitous explosions and sexual tension. Sexual tension, I tell you! Then they’ll put a face on Robo like they did to Optimus and make him say “Cowabunga” and eat pizza, calling everyone dude. If you have to make a movie, go see Pixar. They made an animated movie about a robot that couldn’t talk and didn’t have a face and his best friend was a cockroach and they spent the first half of the movie crushing garbage into cubes. It made a couple of bucks, so I hear. Animation is not just the safer bet, it is the ideal format for an Atomic Robo movie. And if Hollywood doesn’t have the patience – or for that matter, the foresight – for a hero without a “proper human face”, then why would you want to pimp out your baby for them to cut up into some Frankenstein’s monster? If it’s the money, I’ll pay you double what you’re charging per issue. Go on, put the price up to $7.00, I’ll pay it!

  2. James Elkins Says:

    I’m with Ben. Animation. Pixar. Get Brad Bird to Direct. Make sure Brian and Scott have FINAL say on everything.

    And I’d pay $10.00 (even if I didn’t have to)

  3. thomas Says:

    don’t let MTV go near Atomic Robo. Seriously. MTV has no interest in art or creativity. They’re just a business. Talk to Pixar…maybe even Dreamworks. but stay away from MTV. they’re bad news.

  4. Lode Says:

    actually, from what I hear, Brian and Scott, are working with an independent animation company to make an Atomic Robo short, and it involves Helsingard.


  5. David Says:

    Excuse the bumped thread, but I’m late to the Atomic Robo lovefest.

    I’m with Ben’s sentiments too. Part of the reason I found this title at all, is Ronda Pattison’s Schuster nomination. Although I love to study Robo line work and panel compostions, the expert and clever coloring is, to my eyes, what adds to the humanity in each panel!

    I’m also enthused by Lode’s comment– I’d pay to see animated AR, but keep it indie. Besides, Brad Bird may not want to direct an Atomic Robo feature– he’s already done a robot with a heart, when he helmed The Iron Giant.

    Anyways, big thanks for intelligent-and-fun comic book-making.

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