Obviously the author of the source material is going to have some very strongly held opinions about their own work, but even so, Mark Millar appears to have popped a vein when it comes to what Joe and Matthew Carnahan are up to with the film adaptation of “Nemesis.”
Millar is not shy about serving as his own hype man, and while it has certainly earned him more than a bit of animosity over time, I think it’s one of the skill sets that authors in the 21st century need to get better at, and Millar’s ahead of the game. It seems like every year, there is exponentially more media competing for your attention, and if you want to cut through all that, you can’t be shy about singing your own praises or talking about what you’re working on.
In Millar’s case, he has so many things in development that he seems almost like a non-stop cheerleader for the various filmmakers who are adapting his work these days. But in the case of “Nemesis,” he’s gone above and beyond. He seems to be positively swooning over the script they’ve adapted, and he is setting a very high bar for them when they actually do make the film.
As with most of his work, the premise for “Nemesis” started with a high-concept inversion of a familiar comic book character. In this case, Milllar re-imagined Batman as the Joker, essentially. He took Bruce Wayne, billionaire, as a jumping-off point and recreated him as a lunatic who targets different cities, naming one cop in each city as his enemy, digging in and tormenting them on an almost unimaginable scale. It’s a big, nasty, sprawling book, and in typical Millar fashion, it is grim and ugly at times.
Here’s a link to what Millar had to say today about the script. I’ve been a fan of Joe Carnahan’s work since “Narc,” and I think he’s managed to really course-correct his career in a lovely way, something not everyone manages to pull off. I’m curious to see how the cast of “Nemesis” comes together.
One thing’s for sure: whoever makes this better be willing to dig in and get dirty, or there’s no reason to do it. This is extreme material, and trying to downplay that at all seems pointless. Let’s see who has the stones to do this one at full volume.