DC and Warner Bros. have reportedly begun development on a movie based on the classic comic book superhero Plastic Man, with Amanda Idoko on board as writer. The report comes as the studios are rolling out Aquaman, the latest DCEU standalone film, starring Jason Momoa as the undersea warrior. However, the original DCEU concept launched with movies like Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice appears to be on the outs ever since the arrival of new DC Films head Walter Hamada.
What DC's offerings will look like going forward is anyone’s guess, but the chances that the DCEU as established by Zack Snyder will continue look very slim. Instead, the DC and WB will be focusing on a slate of less serious comic book fare, including Shazam! and Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). The one exception to the “less serious” approach would seem to be Todd Phillips’ Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix in an origin film about the famed villain, but that's not set in the DCEU. Of course, DC will also release Wonder Woman 1984, the follow-up to 2017’s smash hit Wonder Woman.
Related: Predicting DC's 2020 Release Slate
As reported by THR, DC Films and Warners have added another less-serious character to the upcoming slate, going forward on an adaptation of the classic comic Plastic Man. No director has yet been named to the project, but Amanda Idoko has been brought on to pen the script. Idoko’s other feature film credit is Breaking News in Yuba County, which is currently in pre-production with Allison Janney and Laura Dern in the cast, and The Help director Tate Taylor as helmer. Plastic Man is being described as a “comedic action-adventure” that will stay true to the "light-hearted and even silly" tone of the comics. Parks and Recreation actor Ben Schwartz, who's interested in leading the Plastic Man live-action movie, tweeted his approval on seeing the news:
I’ll start stretching now just in case. https://t.co/F6GvPhmTxT— Ben Schwartz (@rejectedjokes) December 7, 2018
First published by Quality Comics in 1941, Plastic Man revolved around a crook named Patrick “Eel” O’Brien who acquired his super powers during a botched heist when he was doused with a mysterious liquid that left him with the ability to stretch his body into any shape. DC Comics picked up the title in 1956 and later gave Plastic Man his own TV show. Years later, Plastic Man would even become part of the Justice League (he was left out of the Justice League movie, however). Never a hugely popular character with general comic book fans, Plastic Man nevertheless developed a cult following and is particularly beloved among comic book creators.
Interestingly, Plastic Man is one of the few DC Comics characters whose stories were more-or-less comedic, often veering into surrealism and slapstick. At least according to early reports, the movie version of Plastic Man would retain the comics’ comedic elements, another sign that DC and Warners wish to move away from the DCEU. The big buzzword when it came to DC adaptations at Warners used to be “dark” but now the key word appears to be “fun.” It remains to be seen if these new, more light-hearted DC movies will score big at the box office. Meanwhile, the relatively fun Aquaman has already proven a big hit in China with $24M on its opening day, leaving the door open on an Aquaman sequel.
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
- Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019