Nimród Antal's Boris the Bear: The Ultimate Comic Book Movie

Looking at the upcoming film slate for 2016, the landscape is dominated by comic book movies. Captain America: Civil War, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and X-Men Apocalypse are the big titles, but there are a number of "smaller" films, such as Deadpool and Suicide Squad scheduled for release as well. Many wonder if there are too many superhero films on the horizon, but the trend currently shows no sign of stopping.

Nimród Antal, the director of films such as Predators and Armored, has noticed this trend. Indicating that he's "sick of comic book movies" and the lack of original material in Hollywood, Antal has chosen to make an appearance on Adi Shankar's The Bootleg Universe Pitch Show and pitch what he calls the ultimate comic book movie: Boris the Bear.

Boris the Bear was first published in 1986, the second comic series released by the fledgling Dark Horse Comics. The story follows Boris, an anthropomorphic bear who is soon revealed to be a robot, as he violently murders parodies of classic comic book characters. Throughout his initial run, Boris killed off versions of the Ninja Turtles, Batman, the Transformers, and the heroes of the Marvel Universe.

That's where Antal's version of the story comes in. The director pitches Boris the Bear as the final push for comic book movies, the epitome of all the shared universes currently under construction. The simple fact is that Boris could have a place in any of those universes, should Hollywood give the go ahead. Boris could serve as a Terminator, being sent into different universes to eliminate characters from the timeline. Antal claims that his character could kill any number of existing characters, from He-Man to Casper the Friendly Ghost.

Boris the Bear Bootleg Universe

His adaptation would aim for the PG-13 rating, of course, to "squeeze all of the juice out of the lemon" and appeal to the widest audience. His argument is that if a film like The Hunger Games can depict kids murdering each other and still earn the PG-13 rating, anything should be possible. As the video progresses, Antal makes it clear that he's willing to do whatever the producers decide in the end, so that he can keep working in the film industry.

The video goes well beyond tongue-in-cheek, moving to an aggressive critique of the film industry as a whole. Antal sees comic adaptations as a symptom of Hollywood's unwillingness to create daring, original works of art. Using that as a launching pad, the director goes on to satirize misleading marketing campaigns and the prevalence of Kickstarter campaigns used to fund films, especially those launched by established creators (such as Zack Braff's controversial campaign to fund his film Wish I Was Here).

While Antal raises some good points, the video feels like a wasted opportunity. Sure, the idea of a live action Boris the Bear film is next to impossible, but that's what makes the previous pitches on the show all the more compelling. A pitch for an actual Terminator-inspired Boris story would have made for an entertaining video and fit in better with the videos and ideas that inspired The Bootleg Universe in the first place.

Source: Adi Shankar

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