This week we look at The Silver Surfer movie that never was . . .
WHAT’S IT ABOUT: Norrin Radd, a young astronomer of the planet Zenn-La, is transformed into a silver-skinned, cosmic-powered super-being by a planet destroying cosmic entity named Galactus in order to save Radd’s home world from destruction.
Known thereafter as the Silver Surfer because of the silvery flying board he rides, Radd departs with Galactus, pledging to serve as his herald and seek out new worlds for him to devour in exchange for Galactus sparing Zenn-La.
SOURCE: The Silver Surfer is a Marvel Comics superhero created by Jack Kirby and made his first appearance in Fantastic Four #48 (March 1966).
WHO’S INVOLVED? Director Alex Proyas (Dark City, I Robot) and screenwriter J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5, Thor).
LAST WE HEARD: After the Surfer’s film debut in 20th Century Fox’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Fox hired J. Michael Straczynski to write the screenplay for a spin-off movie. In this continuity, the Surfer’s origins and powers are similar to those of his comic-book incarnation.
In an interview with AMCtv.com Straczynski said:
“I was writing it as FF2 was about to come out, and the theory was for it to pick up literally the next frame after the FF2 movie, where you find out why Silver Surfer was there and what happened to him. We would have seen Galactus, his home world, what happened and him trying to get back there, because now that he’s betrayed Galactus, he’s concerned his home world might be in jeopardy.”
In mid-2009, Straczynski expressed doubts that the spin-off would be produced while director Alex Proyas axed any rumors that he was working on a Silver Surfer flick, due to one very specific reason:
“Because it’s a Fox picture and I’m determined never to work with them ever again because of my experience on I, Robot.”
WHY IT’D BE GREAT: If there was one thing memorable about Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, it was the Surfer. The CGI looked slick and left you yearning for more. With a seasoned screenwriter like Straczynski and a visionary like Proyas it could have been something special.
THE PROBLEM: 20th Century Fox is currently in reboot-mode in order to keep the movie rights to certain Marvel superhero characters. So far they succeeded with X-Men: First Class and a Fantastic Four reboot has already been announced for 2014 whilst Daredevil is stuck in development hell.
Given this busy schedule and considering Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer’s middling box office ($131 million in the U.S., about what it cost to make) it’s unlikely that Fox will shell out any silver for a big budget and CGI-heavy Surfer movie in the foreseeable future.
CHANCES OF GETTING MADE: Perhaps, but only the Watcher knows!
NEXT WEEK: Jodorowsky’s legendary Dune movie.