It’s been a knackering few days. My youngest, who’s just turned one, brought home a 28 Days Later kind of bug and has slowly infected the entire house. So yesterday started at 3am with one of my children spray-vomiting another of my children and I think I started working around 6am, eating lunch around breakfast-time if I recall.
Anyway, between all the cat-naps and cleaning up some interesting stuff happened at work. I finished the final issue of HUCK, the new series we’re announcing at Image Expo next month, and got a colour, lettered composite of issue one, which I was really, really happy with. Plus I had a call scheduled with an American actor who was really interested in doing something together. I don’t normally work like this, but I’m actually a huge fan of the actor and I thought it would be really interesting to have a chat so we scheduled a call through our mutual friend for last night and I was keen to see what he was up to.
The book he was interested in was Jupiter’s Circle, which is out right now, and the character he was interested in was Blue-Bolt. For those who don’t know, Jupiter’s Circle is my kind of ADULT SUPER-FRIENDS series or, as has been described, Mad Men meets the Justice League. It’s set in 1959 and beautifully drawn by Wilfredo Torres, a superhero period drama where I use actors and actresses from the Hollywood Golden Age and transplant them onto superhero identities, telling very different kind of stories from the ones we might be used to in X-men and Avengers.
Anyway, the first story is based around a closeted gay superhero in an era when such things were frowned upon, leading a secret life akin to Randolph Scott or Montgomery Clift or any of the secretly gay stars of the past who’s images were maintained by publicity departments and very different from their private lives. The actor had read the first two issues and said he absolutely loved this character, asking where he was going in subsequent issues and seemed disappointed when I said each arc focuses on a different character, the one out today about a superhero going through a mid-life crisis and leaving his wife for a 19-year old Supergirl.
He seemed disappointed and asked if a movie version of this could focus on the gay character, the other characters being relegated to the background and I said it was possible, but not really the story I was telling. Also, Jupiter’s Circle is a prequel series to the Jupiter’s Legacy book I’m doing with Frank Quitely and since the movie rights are with Transformers Producer Lorenzo DiBonaventura he would technically have first dibs on any cinematic plans for the prequel series, even though it was different characters for the most part. I love Lorenzo and am very happy about this, but he seemed disappointed as he was hoping to snag Circle for his own production company as he felt there was a good franchise here with him playing the lead.
What’s fascinating about this is that this actor is often rumoured to be gay and over the years I’ve seen many websites and magazines alluding to this, which he’s maintained a very dignified silence towards. He seems like a genuinely nice guy and I loved the fact that playing a gay superhero didn’t concern him even remotely. He was ready to just plunge in because he thought it was an interesting set up and an interesting character. I didn’t raise the tabloid stories from years gone past and neither did he. He was thinking about the most important thing, which is the story, and a little part of me was sad we couldn’t make this work somehow. But bringing out a cinematic sequel at the same time as preparing the Jupiter’s Legacy movie would be crazy. You need to establish one before the other and you get a lot more out of this once you’re familiar with the world of Legacy.
So it looks like he can’t be involved as it’s way too early to get a Jupiter’s Circle series going and by the time we’re looking at any kind of prequels I suspect the interest of this in-demand actor will have moved on. It’s a shame, but a little insight into that weird little world of projects that almost happened, but for various reasons don’t.
We had a good laugh though and I was impressed by how grounded the guy was. There was no assistant setting up the call and he seemed to have a very good knowledge of comic-books and comic-book movies, lamenting that he’s yet to actually have one of his own. We agreed it would be cool to do something together at some point and then he was off, no doubt planning his NEXT movie franchise. But it was a very interesting moment while it lasted and I can’t help wondering how cool a gay superhero with an actor this massive could have been.