Grant Morrison has long been one of my favorite comic book writers; he has a bizarre vision that he carries with him from title to title, and in many ways I think he deserves the rarest of honors, which is being considered a real comic book auteur. But in the last few years I’ve seen Morrison’s edge dulled a bit as he went from being one of the most exciting alternative writers on the scene with his brilliant series The Invisibles to his current status as one of the four writers of the awful and boring DC Comics weekly series 52.
Now Morrison is moving into scripting movies (well, he’s been moving there for a while, including working on a script for an adaptation of his fabulous miniseries WE3 (which was fairly recent, so maybe his edge isn’t being as dulled as recent bad writing for DC superheroes would lead me to believe*)) and his latest assignment has taken me back a bit. Is this one for the Sell Out files? I mean, how else do you classify a very talented writer who signs on to pen an adaptation of a video game? Honestly, I’d think he had more integrity if he just wrote a porn movie as no genre of filmmaking is more debased and disgusting than that of the video game adaptation.
The game in question is the shooter Area 51, which I gather is not the exact same game as the quarter guzzler I used to enjoy so much. In the movie version (and maybe the game, I don’t know), “a hazardous materials specialist who is called in to investigate a viral outbreak that could be extra-terrestrial in nature.” This isn’t Morrison’s first trip to Area 51, and I think he definitively explored the place and the concept in The Invisibles, but hey, that wasn’t for a Hollywood paycheck.
Stan Winston is one of the producers of Area 51, so that gives you an idea of where the focus of the movie will be (hint: aliens and monsters, which isn’t a bad thing), but I do hope that Morrison has a chance to insert some of his wacky pan-dimensional and magickal beliefs in the script. I would be pretty psyched for a Barbelith shout-out, for instance.
*OK, and his Seven Soldiers was mostly great. Still, 52 is bumming me out, man.