Friday, August 25, 2006

Getting A Little More Serious...

So I figure folks might have a few questions about some of my projects, ranging from the SUPERMAN/BATMAN comic to the upcoming MY NAME IS BRUCE feature to my work on the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA television show. So I'm going to try to be a little more blog-active for awhile and see what happens. If you post a question, I'll try to answer it... unless I don't, but don't take that personally.

First, a little on MY NAME IS BRUCE. That particular feature project was hatched from my filthy mind in the Fall of 2004, after I'd been inspired by the nine-issue run of THE ADVENTURES OF ALAN LADD comic book. I'm sure some of you are thinking, "come on, Mark, THE ADVENTURES OF ALAN LADD? Do we look that gullible?" But there really was an ALAN LADD series, honest, published by DC Comics back in 1949/50. And it really is worth seeking out. In the first few issues, the actor Alan Ladd finds himself embroiled in various adventures, like being kidnaped by pirates. The key panel, the one that really got me thinking, was one where a pirate, forcing Ladd to shovel coal into the boiler of a steam ship, cackles about his prize. "Ah haaa, look at the great Alan Ladd now!" Something about the gestalt of that moment really struck a chord.

I've also been a fan of Bruce Campbell's since EVIL DEAD 2, which I (honestly) consider one of the great movies of the 1980's. I've been lucky enough to actually work with Bruce on a project (an episode of the late, mostly unlamented TIMECOP series I did for ABC back in '97), and ever since I've been scheming to find a way to do a movie with him. Enter my friend Mike Richardson, who also knew Bruce, and who also happens to own Dark Horse Entertainment. When he told me he'd lined up financing for some lower-budget features, I pitched him my BRUCE idea. What if Mr. C were kidnapped by some small town folks who mistook him from the hero from the EVIL DEAD movie? And when he actually does battle with some demonic force, he's hopelessly incompetent? And why is this blog suddenly like a Donald Rumsfeld monologue?

Needless to say, Mike responded to the idea, and so did Bruce. We had a story meeting in late 2005 to go over the plot, then I went to work crafting a screenplay designed to capture the essence of Campbelliana. Mucho toil later, voila! MY NAME IS BRUCE went before the cameras in August of 2006, and the world is a much better place for it!

By the way, for those budding writers who may read this -- this was BY FAR the smoothest transition from "pitch" to "screen" I've ever enjoyed in my so-called career. Trust me, the road is usually infinitely rockier. But I'll save those tales for another time...

11 Comments:

Blogger John Goins said...

Love the blog. But hey, wasn't there already a movie called "My Name is Bruce"? Whatup widat?

3:04 PM  
Blogger Alan Kellogg said...

I may have to start going to movies again. :)

Here's hoping nothing really bad happens on the shoot.

And to all the actors on the project, from leads to extras alike: Break a leg.

3:38 PM  
Blogger Neil said...

How many people are going to think that you actually were inspired by Galaxy Quest instead?

Neil

1:37 PM  
Blogger Mark Verheiden said...

To John -- yes, there was a movie called MY NAME IS BRUCE, about a Bruce Lee imitator. I pointed this out and was overruled by my collaborators. Alan -- I may have misspoke in my comment, MY NAME IS BRUCE (*my* MY NAME IS BRUCE) is in the can, finished, in the editting room, etc. They wrapped in early August. Neil -- I liked Galaxy Quest, but honest, it was Alan Ladd Comics that started the ball rolling for me...

7:24 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

I'd just like to say that I've been a big fan of your comics work and it's nice to see that you have a blog (even if you don't post to it much). Thanks for the great books!

7:01 AM  
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