Tim Story On The Surfer, Black Panther

According to this little article from the LA Times, I may not have been far off in my thinking that the Fantastic Four movies may have just been a back door way of getting a Silver Surfer movie made. Tim Story also mentions the possibility of introducing the Black Panther to the big screen at some point via the FF franchise.

“I’ve always been a fan,” Los Angeles native Story said of his superpowered charges. “When you played in the street, somebody was the Torch, somebody took the Hulk…

‘I’ve got to tell you, to get the ‘Fantastic Four’ and turn it into a franchise, the first thing I thought was, ‘Will I get the Silver Surfer’? Or someone like [the superhero] Black Panther, who was introduced in their book, get Djimon Hounsou and go do it?’ But there are so many other great villains and stories – I feel like I hit the jackpot.”

I was unable to find it on the internet, so here’s a transcription from the prnt edition. If anyone knows of an official link to the article, let me know. The complete article is after the jump.

EDIT: Bad Mike points out in the comments that it is indeed available online here, but you need an LA Times.com membership in order to read it, which comes with some of the most annoying non-porn spam I receive on a weekly basis.


Silver screen enigma

MARVEL’S SURFER IS APPEALING IN HIS SIMPLICITY, BUT THE EFFECTS THAT PUT HIM IN THE ‘FANTASTIC FOUR’ SEQUEL ARE UP-TO-THE-MINUTE IN DESIGN.

By MICHAEL ORDONA Special to The Times

Do gods ride surfboards?

The upcoming “Fantastic Four” sequel features one of the most enigmatic and bestloved denizens of the Marvel Comics universe: the detached, philosophical and ultra powerful Silver Surfer. “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer” pits the superhero group against a creature who rides the crests of cosmic waves, exploring the mysteries of existence, bringing with him salvation. . . or devastation.

A child of the ’60s (he debuted in 1966), the Surfer is a celestial being who stands apart from humanity, appalled by its brutishness but fascinated by its potential.

“He is a Christ-like character because of his origins,” said Tim Story, director of both movies and longtime fan of the comics. “We don’t know much about his home planet, how he was before he became this.”

The Surfer’s popularity has transcended his appearances with the Fantastic Four: He has glided into several other comics, including his own; he had his own Nintendo videogame and briefly an animated show in 1998 on Fox; he is often referred to in music (including guitar hero Joe Satriani’s “Surfing With the Alien” album) and movies (among them, “Reservoir Dogs” and “Crimson Tide”), Although Story was eager to get such a revered character to the screen, his main concern was “just not to [mess] it up,” he said. “At the end of the day, he’s simple but really beautiful- you don’t have to do much.”

That simplicity begins with the Surfer’s look: A sleek, nude figure in shimmering silver skin on a matching surfboard.

“People are seeing the poster and saying, ‘That’s cool.’ He’s just cool, the way he moves, the way he f1ies,” Story said.

According to John Kilkenny (“Titanic,”Daredevil”), who supervised the film’s visual effects, the character’s on-screen look is based largely on iconic drawings by co-creator Jack Kirby and others.

“You’re going to see the Surfer in those classic poses, like you do in the poster,” Kilkenny said. “We’re referencing the artwork all the time.”

Weta Digital, the effects house behind the “The Lord of the Rings” series, designed a new proprietary system to animate the character (Kilkenny calls it “the next step after Gollum and King Kong”). The hybrid technology allowed the fllmmakers to shoot scenes with a live actor playing the Surfer, then replace him with the digital character in a much faster process than possible with previous motion-capture systems.

“We had a physical performance that Tim Story could direct on-set, and the other actors had someone they could refer to instead of playing to” nothing, said Kilkenny, adding that even veteran studio employees have been clamoring to see Surfer footage as it finishes. “We have the controls and ability to go into that level where you can see individual muscles move and flex. I guess for lack of a better term, it’ll be really cool.”

“I’ve always been a fan,” Los Angeles native Story said of his superpowered charges. “When you played in the street, somebody was the Torch, somebody took the Hulk…

‘I’ve got to tell you, to get the ‘Fantastic Four’ and turn it into a franchise, the first thing I thought was, ‘Will I get the Silver Surfer’? Or someone like [the superhero] Black Panther, who was introduced in their book, get Djimon Hounsou and go do it?’ But there are so many other great villains and stories – I feel like I hit the jackpot.”



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2 Responses to Tim Story On The Surfer, Black Panther
  1. badMike
    May 7, 2007 | 2:36 pm

    I don’t know if you have to be a registered member or not to actually read it, but the article in question is here:

    Silver screen enigma

    The original author also leaves out the Richard Gere film “Breathless,” in which his character was obsessed with the Silver Surfer.

  2. Matt
    May 7, 2007 | 8:34 pm

    Please, please get Story off this franchise…give it to someone who really understands why people read this comic book in the first place…

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