Five “classic” heroes in need of a reboot

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There is no arguing that this is the Golden Age of Superhero movies but there are plenty of other heroes than didn’t originate in the pages of DC and Marvel. Before superheroes and super-powers, there were heroes of a different kind, usually from the pulp-books, newspaper strips or radio serials in the 50s and 60s. Plenty of these heroes have been forgotten but some are in need of a reboot.

Many of the heroes mentions have had films before but most were either long enough ago to warrant another or so poor the first time that they need to be done properly;

Dick Tracy

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Warren Beatty brought the comic strip detective from the 1950s to life and very well. It was played for laughs and very lighthearted but maybe a darker, serious and less tongue-in-cheek Dick Tracy would really work. His characters were always larger than life but a more Noir setting could really work for the classic detective.

Sgt Rock

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Sgt Rock has had many different, failed attempts to come to the big screen. He is technically a DC hero but has been absent from the comics long enough not to be completely associated with the superheroes that dominate today. A muscle-bound, Nazi fighting WW2 soldier could be worth exploring, with some crazy missions and large set-pieces to really sell the fantastic elements.

Flash Gordon

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There is no beating the classic movie of 1980 so don’t try. Flash Gordon should never be played seriously but bringing the polo/football player space-adventurer up-to-date feels overdue. The effects could sell a great movie, with plenty of action, a grand-adventure and a foot firmly in the cheesy-camp.

Allan Quatermain

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Quatermain feels long-overdue a comeback to the screen. The last person to play the explorer was Sean Connery in the failed League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie. That didn’t do the character justice, as he is a great English hunter who often finds himself dabbling with the supernatural. It can be scary or fantastical or played for straight drama but a movie could work very well.

The Shadow

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There is a lot of people who love the 1994 movie starring Alec Baldwin and although it has harsh critics, there is a lot to like about it. It manages to capture the darker tone of The Shadow and although he is more superhero than straight-man, he never feels like a fantasy character. Bringing a spooky, supernatural 1950s gangster film to the screen could breathe new life into a classic hero.

Overall, five heroes who could all benefit from a big-screen reboot. There is plenty of potential and backstories to mine for the characters, all of which could be fun, big adventure movies. Let me know if there is any others you think I’ve missed.

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There’s plenty of potential in classic heroes
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9 comments

  1. I agree with The Shadow and Flash Gordon but I’m not sure about Dick Tracy. DT just seems like one of those characters that can’t make a splash in this day and age and maybe should be retired. I thought the same thing about The Lone Ranger and we saw how that turned out.

      • Most younger folk aren’t into Westerns these days. You don’t see kids dressing up as cowboys for Halloween as they did when I was a youngster. So I think most Westerns these days are aimed at an older audience to begin with and a more gritty feel makes them good films. Lone Ranger is a kids themed film so Depp or not it wouldn’t have gone over big IMO.

  2. Well, it is possible to make a good TV series set in the 1940s, 1950s. “Agent Carter” is proof of that. But that was a cherished brand new Marvel property.

    The “Phantom”, the “Shadow”, “Rocketeer” and “Dick Tracy” rode Tim Burton´s Batman bandwagon (and maybe Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade), and mostly because they were cheap, powerless and down to Earth heroes. Most of them also royalty free.

    They couldn´t even try to do “X-men” and “Spiderman” in 1990.

    Hmmm…on a second thought..maybe some Christopher Nolan dude could make an spectacular noir “Shadow” movie.

      • Oh, the movie is marvelous little gem. it´s like “Blair Witch” and “Castaway” with a better view. It´s like “Gravity” but on a beach. A med student goes surfing in a remote beach in Mexico an gets attacked by a shark and stuck in a rock together with a wounded seagull. The adorable seagull steals the scene i must say. I loved when she decides to stop suffering and starts to fight back. Must see!

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