While most comics-to-film fans are all "Batman this" and "Captain America that" these days, it's important to remember that not all comic books are just about superheroes. And that is increasingly becoming the case for movies based on comics as well. Case in point, the upcoming supernatural Western Jonah Hex starring Josh Brolin as the infamous confederate soldier turned bounty hunter with the scarred face and "one foot in the natural world and one on the 'other side.'" While this particular character doesn't wear a cape or spin webs, we at IGN are nonetheless quite psyched to see him in live-action form. Here's what we know about the film so far...
Though there had been talk floating around about making a Jonah Hex movie for years, the character's film project picked up steam back in the summer of 2007 when the guys behind the splendiferously wacky Crank, Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, signed on with Warner Bros. to write and direct the adaptation. Akiva Goldsman, who won an Oscar for writing A Beautiful Mind, would serve as producer along with Andrew Lazar. Hex fans everywhere tried to put it out of their minds that Goldsman had also penned Batman & Robin.
IGN spoke to Neveldine and Taylor at Comic-Con that year, where they explained that the film would draw from sources as varied as Sin City, Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns, and Ken Burns' Civil War documentary series. They said they saw Hex's world as "kind of like the real post-Civil War America, which was almost like an apocalyptic wasteland. Everybody had their arms lopped off and nobody bathed. It was an ugly place and we're not glamorizing it and doing kind of a traditional movie Western. We want to do something completely new, but at the same time it's funny and vulgar and bizarre and sexy and weird."
Sounded great, right? But then the pair got fired.
Actually, it's a little more complex than that. First off, the Writers Guild strike happened the following fall, which surely didn't help the studio's plans to shoot Jonah Hex in the spring of 2008. But when things finally started to get back on track in November of 2008 with word coming in that Oscar nominee Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men) had been cast as the titular gunslinger, we also found out that Neveldine and Taylor were off the project. The official reason given? Creative differences, of course. But perhaps the following blunt words from Brolin might have had something to do with the pair's departure too:
"When I first read it I thought, 'Oh, my God. It's awful!' And then I had a moment a week later and I thought, 'Why is it awful?' Maybe the thing to do is to do the most awful movie I can find."
But somehow the actor seemed to be complimenting the project at the same time by saying he was drawn to "the absurdity of it … It's so tongue in cheek. It's so ridiculous."
Regardless, with Brolin onboard the project now seemed to have the steam it needed to really get moving. Former animator and Horton Hears a Who! director Jimmy Hayward, of all people, landed the Hex gig in January of '09, thesp John Malkovich was cast as the villainous Quentin Turnbull in February, and the luscious Megan Fox joined the production in March as the prostitute Leila, a "pistol-toting stunner who falls for the grizzly Hex." The fanboy tickets would've started selling at that very moment had they been available.
Listen and read the 1940's adventures of Martin's Raiders
Watch The HANGAR BAY SHOW - It's not the nerd-cast you deserve, it's the one you need!