“I’m Paul Barlow, and this is my daughter Jo.”

“Malone.”

“You got a first name?”

“Yeah.”

Movie pitch: MARSUPERMAN

tn_marsupermanIf you’re waiting for another highly insightful movie review, move along. This post is all about paying bills. See, my dream is to get some bread from selling some movie idea or something, then live on that and not have to work a day job anymore so I can dedicate my life to creative pursuits and/or sleep. Of course my preference is to write a really good novel or script and have it turned into a really good movie, but let’s face it, I have not done that. So just getting paid would also be acceptable.

That’s why I have created Hollywood’s next great super hero movie idea, MARSUPERMAN. Are you tired of different Green heroes such as Hornet and Lantern, and are looking for something entirely new? Please contact me to buy it from me, Hollywood.

MARSUPERMAN is the story of Jack Thunder®, amoral big game poacher of the Australian outback. One day while out hunting razorback or whatever Jack is attacked by a genetically enhanced kangaroo that has escaped from an illegal underground fighting circuit (see animated prequel for more info). During the scuffle Jack accidentally catches his hand inside the kangaroo’s pouch, which is really gross, but also mutates him and gives him special powers.

Soon Jack begins a transformation, like in that movie Spiderman I suppose. The new one or whichever one made the most money. The hand that got pouched becomes a super strong punching hand. Then he starts growing a pouch. Also he can hop really high and when he hops his feet turn really long so he has to invent special two piece shoes with a flexible accordian extension in the center. It’s awesome.

Because of his new powers Jack becomes more sympathetic toward the plight of Australian wildlife, character growth, transformation, etc. He teams with a bunch of koalas or other Australian animals (please research) to fight off the poachers before going to a big city of some kind to stop whoever from, you know, blowing up a bridge with a laser machine or something like that. I got it all figured out and arguably even storyboarded but I gotta hold those details back until the contracts are signed in my opinion.

I think you understand this but I want to be very clear: the genius of Marsuperman is that he has a fuckin pouch, right? While other super heroes that are mammals have to wear utility belts, Marsuperman doesn’t have to wear a utility belt because he has a pouch. So if he needs a smoke pellet or a ninja star or whatever he just reaches into his pouch. This is not your father’s super hero, your father’s super hero does not have a pouch of any kind.

After the credits there’s a cliffhanger where he has a baby but he doesn’t realize it because #1 why would a guy have a baby and #2 it fits inside a thimble.

MARSUPERMAN is a groundbreaking new idea that is also familiar and comfortable as well as visionary. It will have the widest possible appeal of anything that there is. You could whip up like a comic strip version and then on the trailer it says based on the graphic novel. This is what audiences demand. Also you could shoot it on regular film and then spend a bunch of money and time transferring it to a shitty almost 3D version that most people will avoid. The latest motion capture technology like James Cameron. (James Cameron is not affiliated with MARSUPERMAN.) Fans clamor for the buzz of the worldbuilding mythology. Viral videos and social networking.

To find out where to send the money please contact outlawvern at hotmail.

thanks Hollywood

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

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56 Responses to “Movie pitch: MARSUPERMAN”

  1. And at which point is he flying to Mars?

  2. Also I would totally make a movie out of this idea. I’m just way too broke to make anything other than a found footage horrorfilm about two people who are stuck in a closet and getting scared by eerie noises outside.

  3. To be honest, I’m actually kind of fascinated by the idea of a genetically modified underground fighting kangaroo.

  4. There is a lot of potential in this pitch.

    Wouldn’t it be great if Jack Thunder could actually talk with the Australian animals after he accidentally catched his hand inside the kangaroo’s pouch? Only he could hear them talking, which obviously results in hilarious comedy.

    He could also fall in love with a barely dressed girl that has grown up in the outpack after an airplane crash and was raised by tasmanian devils. But these tasmanian devils aren’t really animals, they are alien lifeforms that also crashed in Australia and transformed into tansmanian devils because they didn’t know of the existence of American sportscars – Tasmanobots.

    So in the end Jack Thunder leads the Tasmanobots and the animals in the climatic battle against the poachers and another alien race that wants to rule the world and doesn’t like freedom at all. AND he has to fight for the love of his live. He wins. Australia is destroyed. The surviving heroes find a new home on Mars. (As it was written in the prophecy.)

  5. Outback.

  6. Lloyd Kauffman or Roger Corman must buy that idea. Sharktopus Vs Marsuperman is a winner.

  7. Didn’t they also just discover a seriously fucking huge right-out-of-my-worst-nightmares spider in Australia? This should be used in this movie too.

  8. The spider should be a likeable and heroic comic relief character though. Now that they turned Spider-Man for the reboot into a Twilight-ish emo kid, young Spiders need a new role model to look up to.

  9. Knox Harrington

    July 20th, 2011 at 3:20 am

    Not sure about the guy’s name. can we change it from Jack Thunder to Wallace Bea. Get it? It sounds like wallaby.

    Fuck you, it’s funny. The kids will love it.

  10. “You could whip up like a comic strip version and then on the trailer it says based on the graphic novel.”

    is this a satire of Cowboys and Aliens perhaps?

  11. And then also there is a character who is captains a freighter that used to run guns and liberate people from human trafficking, and he’s an aborigine who’s uniquely connected with the pulse of nature, but at the same time he’s a drunk and wobbles around so no one is ever really sure if he’s insane or not. But then he encounters Marsuperman and views Marsuperman’s connection with nature as sacred, and so lets him use his ship as a base of operations and there is a pinup in it that you turn sideways and then a panel opens and you slide down a pole into the Marsuperman cave where there are gadgets that are technologically upgraded versions of aboriginal weapons, and the pirate character designs and builds them and always has new ones for Marsuperman’s new missions and also sails around the world to drop off and pick up Marsuperman wherever he is needed. Sometimes the relationship between Marsuperman and the pirate becomes tense when Marsuperman wants to use their technological breathroughs in ways that comment on our present day ethical connundrums with things like the twitter and the facespace and the mybook. And the invading other countries and the torture, when Marsuperman takes a dark, gritty turn in the reboot. But then as the thimble baby grows up and becomes Marsuperman’s sidekick, he learns he has something to live for besides dolling out justice like some kangaroo court (this phrase will constantly be repeated in the trailers and the adds and the posters), and Marsuperman comes to a heartwarming and poignant conclusion when he finally tells the thimble baby he loves him. Actually, it turns out to be a her, and she’s a strong, shockingly foul-mouthed and competent young girl who spends her whole life training to fight crime with Marsuperman, so then the Comic-Con and the Ain’t It Cools all are talking about this movie and love/hate it and there is the buzz and the social networking again. It can’t miss.

  12. darth irritable

    July 20th, 2011 at 5:05 am

    Andreas, I am wholly supportive of the “Australia being destroyed” part of your scenario. Commencing with Adelaide (it’s OK).

  13. well now, I’ve heard that Australian girls frequently go topless on the beaches, so let’s not destroy that

  14. I hope there’s a big fight between kangaroo Jack and the genetically enhanced kangaroo that has escaped from an illegal underground fighting circuit at the end. Because I mean, you can’t introduce a genetically enhanced kangaroo that has escaped from an illegal underground fighting circuit and then just have him vanish and not come back for a big boxing match with Jack at the end. That would be breaking an action movie promise.

  15. Okay, Vern, but your best pitch is still BEES ON A PLANE with Steven Seagal:

    “[Seagal] is a disillusioned former CIA agent who settled down and became a small time honey farmer. Also, he is allergic to bee stings, which shows how fuckin badass he is, to become a honey farmer when a bee sting would kill him. Anyway, he has to fight the terrorists and get to the luggage compartment so he can get out his bee suit.”

  16. Needs more tits.

  17. Still sounds better than CAPTAIN PLANET.

  18. darth irritable

    July 20th, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Majesty, with this plot, it will *be* tits.

  19. This kind of reminds me of the episode of BREAKING BAD where Jesse was showing his girlfriend the superhero drawings he made when he was a teenager. He had one called Kangaman, whose sidekick Joey would travel in his pouch:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ben_barren/3521486041/

    His girlfriend had to explain that male kangaroos didn’t have pouches, so technically it should have been Kangawoman.

  20. That was a good espisode. Well, I guess all of them have been.

  21. Don’t presume to know everything about me, my father’s superhero DID have a pouch thank you very much.

  22. I think you’re overestimating the selling point of pouches. They were all the rage in the dark period for comics known as the 90s:
    http://i.somethingawful.com/fashion/comicSWAT/12.jpg
    At least you don’t run the risk of cutting yourself putting throwing stars in those things.

  23. Vern:

    Crocodile Dundee Three

    and they could have a joke: back in Australia an aboriginal warrior in full native getup is talking shit to Marsuperman and then answers his cell phone. Marsuperman says, “I think we just found out which one of us is the white man.”

    (or not: ripped off joke http://outlawvern.com/2011/06/07/crocodile-dundee-in-los-angeles/)

  24. Oops. Los Angeles was 3

    Marsuperman = plot for Crocodile Dundee Four then

  25. We’d have to change the Jack Thunder name. Otherwise it would just be KANGEROO JACK and we wouldn’t want people to remember to get the wrong idea.

  26. The inside of a pouch is pretty nasty… maybe he just blinds his opponents with his pouch-goo.

  27. One more reason for a name change: Anybody remembers the Paul Hogan/Cuba Gooding Jr movie LIGHTNING JACK?

  28. Paul Hogan and Cuba Jr. probably don’t even remember LIGHTNING JACK.

    Although this does give further compelling evidence that Jack as a name is getting played out in Australian (esp Kangaroo) related film. Maybe his name should be Skyler, or maybe Bryce Thunder.

  29. Aren’t Skyler and Bryce female names?

  30. Its at times like this I truly mourn the passing of Stanley Kubrick.

  31. He could have made an awesome version of this movie. Is what I mean.

  32. I dunno why I’m writing this in this particular thread but I feel the need to express this somewhere: I’m not exited about movies anymore. I honestly could not give a fuck about any movie coming down the tubes at the moment, and that makes me sad. So what gives? Am I depressed or are we in a lull or what? I haven’t truly loved a movie since Black Swan. The only thing I’m even mildly curious about is Captain America.

  33. Everything just seems awful samey right now, Mode7. I’ve sat out most of the big movies this summer. I was thinking about seeing CAP but then after the JP3 discussion I remembered that I’ve never actually liked any of the director’s movies. So my summer is basically over. I’m not planning to see anything until SHARK NIGHT 3D, and it’s not like I’m expecting that to be any, you know, good. It’s kind of sad that I went from being the kind of guy who saw 90% of the big summer movies because that was something that Hollywood generally knew how to do right to the guy who can look at a movie where psychics throw battleships at each other and think, “Eh, I’ll netflix it.”

    It kind of bums me out, but I don’t think it’s just me. I think Hollywood is O.D.ing on franchises right when people are franchised out. Everything looks like a property and not a movie. There’s nothing to get excited about unless brand recognition really floats your boat.

  34. I think the time is right for some kind of indie renaissance.

    C’MON YOU TALENTED MOTHERFUCKERS, I KNOW YOU’RE OUT THERE. AND PROBABLY READING THIS SITE.

    Seriously, you’d think since basically everyone has access to a cam and editing software there’d be a shitload of amazing (if cheap-looking) stuff out there. Maybe i’m just looking in the wrong places.

  35. Mr. Majestyk – you’ve hit the nail on the head, too many movies these days are “properties” and there’s not enough standalone films, which was why Super 8 was such a breath of fresh air

    that said I’m still gonna check Captain America out, I dig the retro vibe

    still the two movies I am most excited about at this point in time are Tintin and The Dark Knight Rises

  36. I have been thinking that we’re past due for a pendulum swing. You know, the good but depressing films of the 70s begat the dumb but awesome movies of the 80s, which begat the smart but pretentious movies of the 90s, which begat the epic but generic movies of the 00s. Even though it’s a new decade, we’re still waiting for what those films begat. I’m hoping for “earnest but exciting.”

    I think I just used up my lifetime supply of “begats.” Anybody have any I can borrow just in case?

  37. I keep waiting for some mozart-like wunderkind to upload some earth shattering, medium redefining work of genius to youtube. but all I see are 20 minute videos of some dude playing call of duty. You’ve gotta wonder with all the distractions these days if such a thing is even possible, but I keep hoping for it.

  38. I wonder how much something like Eraserhead would cost to produce these days?

  39. Mr. Majestyk – I keep praying for a pendulum swing too, but I can;t see happening for a while

    I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but my dream is to be a filmmaker and I really wish I could start now, I would knock everybody on their ass

  40. Mode7,

    There’s a pretty good essay over at the eXile that says all the talent is in TV right now and movies are in the shitter. It convinced me, even though deep down I should’ve already known it, because I get excited for Mad Men and Community and Game of Thrones and so on but I really haven’t looked forward to a movie since THE DARK KNIGHT.

    http://exiledonline.com/american-movies-are-dead-so-party-down/

    BTW, Vern, this is one of your funniest entries in a long time.

  41. Marsupials can get a skin rash that is looks like gonorrhea, but isn’t. Try and work that in somewheres.

  42. Partly the ennui might just be about getting older.

    When you’re a kid you get excited for a movie. Because everything is new for kids (who are also kind of dumb). When you’re a teenager you use movies to define your identity — “I’m the kind of guy who skips school to camp out to buy STAR WARS EPISODE ONE tickets! I’m into Terry Gilliam’s BRAZIL! That’s me.”

    Then you find that you are an adult and you are busy and while, yes, movies can be exhilarating from time to time, mostly they are just more stuff that happens. Like birthday cake. Still good, but I don’t spend days in eager anticipation anymore.

  43. We could change Jack Thunder’s name to Jack Donner, which sounds still pretty badass to me. And Donner is the German word for thunder, so we have something that geeks can brag about, when they find out.

  44. a problem I have with movies in this day and age is too many have no edge whatsoever, they’re too safe, I remember the stink that the ending to The Mist caused because God forbid a bleak horror film have a bleak ending, it’s like people forgot movies could even have bad endings (my mom is a perfect example of this, she hates any movie that does not have a happy ending and she hated The Mist)

    it kind of blows my mind to think that once a blockbuster movie with toy tie ins could be R rated (Terminator 2 for example), what happened to guys like Paul Verhoeven? even a movie liked The Expendables seemed pretty tame (though to be fair it could have something to do with all the gore being CGI and thus not looking real at all)

    even most R rated comedies like the Judd Apatow joints still have that “aw shucks” feel like they’re just family comedies with F words sprinkled on them and foul language is the only R rated stuff in there

    it seems like Quentin Tarantino’s movies are the only theatrically released movies that have any edge to them

    and a problem with blockbusters is that they lack excitement, they have a “let’s just get this over with” attitude (Thor is a good example of this) and don’t show you anything you haven’t seen before, it’s for this reason that I LOVED Inception and liked Sucker Punch (because you have to admit at least Sucker Punch tried something different)

    sorry, I’m ranting

    but remember living in a small town like I do the only movies that play here are wide release ones, anything Independent might as well be DTV to me

  45. SirVincealotThere

    July 21st, 2011 at 7:56 am

    Heck, I’ll get on this band’s wagon too…

    Other than Malick’s SUCKER PUNCH was the one movie I loved this year, and one of three new flicks that I was looking forward to. It’s the only one that shows any sign that the director loved his material. Everything else stinks of the purest cynicism. There has always been a tension (especially in countries with large movie industries) between the artistic and the commercial ambitions but the last 10 or so years feel as though everyone just gave up. Spielberg pimping Michael Bay? That is not a sane world we live in. (Not a fan of Spielberg at all but at least he’s justly known for being a good storyteller. Is TRANSFORMERS his bid for financial supremacy? Has *he* become a bean counter?)

    Also, I won’t watch 3D movies.

    But I am not down on movies. I watched HARA-KIRI and THE SWORD OF DOOM. I had a great time with THE MAN FROM NOWHERE. Buster Keaton is now on Blu. In fact, there are more awesome movies left for me to watch than I have time remaining on my ticker.

    Really, how long was I supposed to be content with chicken nuggets and ding-dongs? In my case I like to think age did have something to do with it. Maybe everything: it’s that much harder for a shyster to perform a cashectomy on my wallet.

    (And I realized American story-tellers are still around, they just moved to TV. The very best dramas are on the “small” screen these days.)

  46. Jareth Cutestory

    July 21st, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Majestyk: When you say “earnest but exciting,” are you thinking of something like MICHAEL CLAYTON? I’m disappointed that this sort of slick, contemplative thriller didn’t really develop much beyond the BOURNEs and that dreadful thing with Julia Roberts and Clive Owen.

    I’ve never seen any of the JURASSIC PARK movies, the new STAR WARS movies, the TRANSFORMERS movies, and only one Pixar movie (PIXAR’S GARBAGE ROBOT). This fatigue with blockbusters is nothing new to me. But I agree that this particular cycle is especially dire.

    Did GREEN LANTERN come and go already? Did it bomb? Did I miss the thread where you guys were talking about it?

  47. Mr Majestyk, if begat is good enough for the Bible it’s good enough for this website.

    I’m incredibly fortunate to live across the street from a great independent theatre. It’s currently showing Tree of Life, Midnight In Paris, and Beginners as well as Harry Potter and Cars 2. One of my favorite days was going to see The Hurt Locker opening weekend and having some Pho for lunch before the movie. I’m spoiled.

    I think films, like vidya games which I only know about from friends, are becoming so expensive and so big that they are becoming much less ambitious so that they can make a guaranteed dollar.

    I think television has been where really exciting things have happened for the last ten years. Between The Wire, Lost, Deadwood, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Moral Orel, Tim and Eric, Breaking Bad, Rubicon, The Shield, Damages, Carnivale, Mad Men, and I’m sure tons of others there seems to be a willingness to not only tell very interesting stories that are character driven but to also experiment and really try new things.

    Outside of a few smaller movies and foreign pictures I can’t think of many movies that can compete with the sheer inventiveness or quality of a lot of the best television in the last decade.

  48. Casey – yeah video games are suffering from the same problem in that everything has become so expensive

    not to drag things too off topic (but wait, we were originally talking about a parody superhero?), but another reason gaming has been suffering creatively these days is the fact that Japan has almost entirely left the building and America has stepped in as the dominant country in video game development

    and what was the result of that? a military propaganda series (Call of Duty) is now what’s top dog

    and most Japanese developed games that do come out these days (and we’re talking something that’s already very rare) simply try to imitate western games and lose what made them cool in the first place

    still all that said Bioshock Infinite is one of the most impressive games I have ever seen in my life, so gaming is not totally dead

  49. Outside of Nintendo it always felt like most Japanese games were kind of boring and repetitive. They mostly seemed to exist as a means to tell a ridiculously convoluted storyline that only a teenage boy could appreciate. At least that’s what I remember from Final Fantasy, Ogre Battle, the Metal Gear Solids, and most other Japanese games.

    I remember they had a few interesting ideas in Pokemon and Tail of the Sun but for the most part it all seemed pretty boring from a gameplay perspective.

    I’ve not really played much in the way of video games for the last ten years. I’m a board game guy now and even then it’s mostly just European board games. American board games tend to have too many rules and lack the elegance of European board games.

  50. Jareth Cutestory

    July 21st, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Casey: Maybe we can agree to disagree if you don’t find HELLO KITTY’S ISLAND ADVENTURE thrilling, but I simply refuse to accept that HUNGRY HUNGRY HIPPOS is inelegant.

  51. And European board games have too much math and lack the heart of American board games.

  52. What if Jack Thunder has a nickname that his frinds calls him; like Rollin´Jack.
    Because maybe he´s always on the move, moving forwards. he has momentum you know. A drive.
    That way he´s name will be Rolling Jack Thunder…Like the movie.

    Now that i think of it…. kangeroos does not roll……Forget anything i mentioned.

  53. billydeethrilliams

    July 22nd, 2011 at 6:27 am

    Hey, video game fans, what the fuck?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtneW73SfS0

  54. Not only is Vern’s pitch a good one but also I would like to see CJ Holden’s movie about people in a closet frightened by scary noises outside.

  55. This ruled, Vern! Reminds me of the April Fool’s Day page from a few years ago, which is one of my favorite things you’ve done.

    Probably there’s easy KANGAROO JACK tie-in money to be made, too. The kids liked that one (?). Marsuperman’s real name is Jack, after all; get a release date nailed down & the rest will write itself during the shoot.

  56. Well, now that it’s Tuesday, I guess the whole world knows Vern’s MARSUPERMAN makes a surprise appearance and dominates the GOTG post-credits scene. Kind of strange that Marvel would let its new flagship raccoon character be pulverized & devoured by an unestablished Aussie newcomer (figured they’d at least wait until the sequel for that), but it was a good bonus fight scene (4 on the ACR) so I can’t complain. Bradley Cooper shouldn’t’ve said those things about dude’s pouch.

    Congratulations on the successful selling-out.
    Don’t feel bad for cutting me out of the profits I probably deserve for hyping this character idea; I stole all the promotional posters from the lobby so that I can sell them to kangaroo-hero fetishists.

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