Can the Chrononauts Land in Hollywood?August 27, 2015
Mark Millar is a name associated with the Midas Touch of comic books. Scribing Kick-Ass, Wanted, Kingsmen: The Secret Service, Marvel’s Civil War, Superman: Red Son, and many other big titles, one of Millar’s latest projects is catching attention. Millar and Sean Gordon Murphy’s Chrononauts is just about ready for the movie script treatment.
Chrononauts will be out as a graphic novel on September 9, but a look into the 140-page volume gives a peek to what the movie may look like since Universal Pictures has bought the rights.
In the volume form, Chrononauts erupts with incredible interest. Time traveling has been done before and in every which way, but Millar’s writing comes with the promise of unique depths. Intrigue pulls the reader in during the first few pages and doctors Corbin Quinn and Danny Reilly are set up with an entertaining buddy relationship. They are two scientists who are about to embark on a time traveling mission to capture Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America in 1492.
The read goes by fast, but in the long form it becomes apparent the chronological order of events would have better impact if slightly shifted around. Take, for instance, the revelation of Corbin Quinn’s father’s early death due to alcoholism and how that has affected Quinn. This concept of loosing a parent early and feeling guilty for not having enough time would hit emotionally harder if it had been introduced earlier in the story rather than towards the middle. It’s position in the middle feels like an after thought in trying to make the character more approachable despite his established playboy setup.
Big explosions fuel the story constantly, which is all too often what action-packed Hollywood movies go for. It seems to be Millar’s running trope in his work. However, if the story doesn’t hold up, the big action sequences won’t be worth a ticket purchase. Millar’s story is action-driven, but needs to rope audiences in with characters and storyline that deliver an emotional impact. This is touched on in the comics in small doses. When footage from the Civil War is transmitted to modern times, an African-American family comments in on the sight. It comes to be one of the comics most poignant moments.
Murphy’s artwork crosses bronze-soaked spaghetti Western style with Star Wars charisma. The look is classic without treading down the path of discount modern imitation styles. It’s wondrously detailed, and the artwork aides in fleshing out these wild and cocky scientists.
Will the Chrononauts make a successful film debut one day? Maybe. While the comic can stand on two feet, albeit shakily, the cinematic adaptation will need a lot more then the big explosions Millar is keen on giving the audience. The biggest hits in Hollywood all have something in common: heart. Chrononauts will need a facelift in that department in order for Millar to have successfully penned another box-office success.