It’s always fascinating for film nerds like myself to read about projects that never actually make it onto the big screen. Whether it’s concept art, aborted scripts, or screen tests, we are able to see a little bit of what’s behind the curtain. You can see how studios either dodged a bullet, or in some cases, passed up on something special. Yesterday, Vincenzo Natali (Cube, Splice, “Hannibal”) posted four pages of his “aborted” screenplay for Swamp Thing from 2010 that could have been really special.
Swamp Thing is a property with a checkered past. When I was a kid, I have fond memories of the “Swamp Thing” animated TV show. It’s far from award-winning animation, but it was one of my favorites. From there I sought out the live action movies from the ’80s. Like the animated series, most people tend to forget they exist, or at least try to forget. As an adult, I finally read the acclaimed comic series by the legendary Alan Moore and understood the potential of “Swamp Thing”.
[amz asin=”1401220835″ size=”small”]In 2009, Joel Silver announced he wanted to produce a new live-action adaptation. Natali was hired in 2010, and it’s clear where the writer/director got his inspiration. Like myself, Natali holds Mr. Moore’s run on “Swamp Thing” in high regard. The excerpt from the script is exactly how Moore began his run over 30 years ago. “Swamp Thing” is being hunted down by a group of mercenaries. During the confrontation, he is seemingly killed. Fans of the comic series know that this is only the beginning.
Reading just four pages of the script shows that Natali understands the character and what tone to take with the film. Dark, scary, and emotional, “Swamp Thing” shouldn’t be a movie aimed at the audience who clamor for the next film in the Avengers franchise. If a studio does try to reboot this franchise, they need to fully embrace the amazing work done by the creators that have worked on the comic series over the decades, specifically Alan Moore.
We may never get a truly great “Swamp Thing” film, but the comic series lives on forever. Do yourself a favor and seek it out. You won’t be disappointed.
You can read the four pages via Natali’s Twitter feed below.