A couple of days ago it was reported that rising comedy star Danny McBride (Pineapple Express, The Foot Fist Way) is going to be starring in an adaptation of the 2004 64-page black-and-white graphic novel entitled Hench. The rights were acquired by Warner Bros. and they plan to develop the project as a “comic-book comedy” as a star vehicle for McBride. The script is to be co-written by McBride himself alongside HBO Eastbound and Down buddy Shawn Harwell.
Warner Bros. and McBride seem to think it’s something pretty special and more than worth putting their creative time and energy into. When the news was first reported, the synopsis for the film version read – “McBride will play a football player who suffers a career-ending injury and needs a job. He [then] signs on as henchman to a successful villain.”
However, in an update to the story, McBride himself said that the football player angle was exaggerated to a level more than what it actually is, and instead said, “it’s just an element to the character.”
The graphic novel, created by Adam Beechan and Manny Bello, is said to be a loving ode to the fantastical world of superheroes and supervillains. Here is the official synopsis from the publisher:
“The fine line between hero and villain is just another of longtime super-villain henchman Mike Fulton’s many scars. Now, faced with a terrible choice that could mean life and death for heroes, villains, his family, and himself, Mike ponders just how his normal life went so crazy. Gripping adventure, powerful biography and loving homage to superhero comics, HENCH is a new graphic novel from writer Adam Beechen, artist Manny Bello, and publisher AiT/Planet Lar.”
To let us know more about the graphic novel, Beechan did an interview with ComicBookResources recently – here is some of what he said:
“‘Hench’ is an exploration of the very fine line between hero and villain… It’s the story of how Mike Fulton, average guy, fell into a career of serving as a freelance henchman to a variety of super-villains. A former star college athlete, Mike’s not a bad person in the least but, spurred by a lack of legitimate opportunities, the need to provide for his family and the lure of adrenaline, Mike takes ‘henching’ jobs here and there and, before he knows it, discovers he’s made a career. And it’s a career that comes with high, high costs.”
“The major players in Mike’s life are his wife and son, Jennifer and Cory, respectively, and his best friend, Randy. But along the way, we also meet a heaping helping of the superheroes, supervillains and other career henchmen that populate this particular world. They were a blast to come up with, and [artist] Manny Bello did a spectacular job of visualizing them. They’ve got names like Pluribus and Libertina, Laughing Boy, the Cosmonaut, Half-Life, Phenomena, Mr. Magnificent, Hellbent, the Little Green Man, Pain Freak, Pencil Neck, the Necrobat, the Still of the Night, and the Red Baroness.”
An interesting thing to note in McBride’s update to the story is that he revealed he is pushing hard for Warner Bros. to let him play around with the vast array of DC supervillains they have at their disposal. So that would be mixing an unknown, newly introduced graphic novel with established DC villains, eh, McBride? What a brilliant idea.
If this were just an actor being signed on to a project already announced for months and nothing more, then I would say McBride wouldn’t have any say as to which, if any, supervillains from the DC universe would be used in Hench. However, considering he’s co-writing the thing, as well as WB developing it as a vehicle specifically for him, I’d say there’s a good chance you may see some of the well known DC supervillains make an appearance, if not play a pivotal role.
As for which of the DC villains would be used, will Warners allow him to include the Batman big-gun villains of The Joker, The Riddler, Catwoman or The Penguin? I’m sure that would stir up a lot of “yea” or “nea” opinions on whether a certain clown-like villain, in particular, should be portrayed again on-screen (although it’s doubtful they’d go that route).
What do you make of this Danny McBride comic-book comedy Hench? Do you think he should be allowed to include some of the DC supervillains, particularly the well known Batman ones?