Monday, May 05, 2008

Alpha Flight: The Movie

Here I was, all ready to get some real work done, and then, who comes along, but that insidious tempter and ne'er-do-well plok!

Never one to back down from a challenge, I've assembled the players (all have signed on for three films, 'natch). Yes, there was some arm-twisting involved, but Canucks Fillion and Polley were gung-ho and gave a hard-sell to some of the holdouts (you can guess who they were). The first film would obviously be some radically abbreviated version of Byrne's first twelve or fifteen issues, culminating in Mac's death and hinting at Heather's assumption of his role as team leader. Because there are so many characters to introduce and assemble, and so much conflict internal to the team already, the villainy in the first film would have to be minimal, and probably linked in some way to nefarious doings at Department H. (Tundra: the government's secret plan to transform the fabled Canadian wilderness into a megaweapon to protect Canadian interests in the north?) The second and third films... Well, there's a lot to play with in this toybox, isn't there?

Guardian (James Hudson) - Nathan Fillion

Who else? Already a Captain, my Captain. And dig the red scarf!

Heather McNeil
- Sarah Polley

The most difficult role to cast, since she must be both sexy and nerdy, a background player and also a lead. Yoiks! Polley could do it, though.

Sasquatch (Walter Langkowski) - Russell Crowe

Crowe has already played the brainy/hunky scientist role with aplomb. Bonus: no special effects needed for the Sasquatch "transformation." His romance with Liv Tyler's Aurora would rival the Jackman/Janssen chemistry in the X-Men films.

Snowbird (Narya/Anne McKenzie) - Tilda Swinton

To my mind, the only other actor in the running is Uma Thurman, but I like Swinton's unearthly beauty better for Inuit demi-goddess, Snowbird.

Puck (Eugene Judd) - Peter Dinklage

Dinklage broke out in The Station Agent; as Puck, he'd become a household name. And an action figure.

Shaman (Michael Twoyoungmen) - Michael Spears

This Dances With Wolves actor certainly has the look of a First Nations superhero. A bit young to be Talisman's father, but's the movies.

Talisman (Elizabeth Twoyoungmen) - Q'Orianka Kilcher

The New World star Kilcher (she played Pocahontas opposite Colin Farrell) would make a great Talisman, I think. Only a minor role in this film, but would become a bigger player in future installments of the series.

Northstar (Jean-Paul Beaubier) - Gaspard Ulliel

My criteria were: French pretty-boy who looks like an elf. Success, no?

Aurora (Jeanne-Marie Beaubier) - Liv Tyler

Okay, so she's not French, but she's gorgeous enough to fake it. Picture her as the stern Jeanne-Marie, hair up in a bun, librarian glasses. Then... Um, moving on.

Marrina (Marrina Smallwood) - Christina Ricci

I was really stumped by Marrina until I found this picture of Ricci. The round face and big eyes have it, I think. A little yellow-tinting and CGI'd gills, and there you have it.


Duh. And how could I forget? Special appearance by...

Wolverine - Hugh Jackman


Anonymous said...

Posts like this make me wish I was infinitely wealthy--I would spend whatever it took to create a Puck feature film, starring Peter Dinklage. That is inspired.

Davinder said...

Good casting. I disagree about the plot, though. You'd need the audience to get attached to Hudson to make his death more shocking and meaningful, so I think end of second movie works better. It's the Empire Strikes Back effect. Also, making the first movie a downer would be a franchise killer.

Jim Roeg said...

thx, matt. Me too! On the other hand, imaginary movies are great because they can't be fucked up in production.

dav - you're totally right about the plot. Rewrite!!

Anonymous said...

The Christina Ricci thing is inspired, Jim! Likewise Sarah Polley, although I'm hardly going to complain about Canadian actors being cast, am I? Also, hooray, more work for Native actors!

Now all you need is the story!

A couple of thoughts for successful cinematization occur to me right away: since Wolverine guest-stars, and since Christina Ricci's so winsome,and since Marrina's character got such short shrift from Byrne in the comics -- I mean we barely met her! And for heaven's sake, she was the Newfoundland version of Superman! -- you could do worse than to make her our "Wolverine" for this movie.

I know, I'm incorrigible...

Seems to me there's a lot of good Canadiana to mine there, that never got touched in AF proper. Marrina is, after all, from a little fishing town in Newfoundland -- and then she has to go "away", in true Newfie-nightmare style. Wow, talk about a superhero ingenue! Make her room with the Hudsons in Ottawa, have Heather comfort her in the same way she did Wolverine in the comics...then she has to meet Alpha Flight, and they're all very, very weird and scary to her...even Puck. And then...?

Certainly you need the disbanding of AF, and Mac's subsequent depression, in some movie or other, somehow. All the members split up and go home, we get to see them in their normal lives. Jeanne-Marie with her hair in a bun, as you say. Then the reunion, some Great Beasts, and then Marrina's secret origin. Ideally some nod to Heather's connection to the AF members, a la the back-up feature...because I liked that. Flashbacks for all! But past that, I haven't got a clue. Except, Mac's death, obviously.

Jeez, where's Harvey Jerkwater when you need him?

Jim Roeg said...

plok - just so crazy it might work! Fish out of water Marrina (urg) and the Hudsons-VERY good. Maybe, then, The Master should be the villain of the first movie, with Marrina going all fishy and ballistic, as she does. The team assembles. Heather charms us all silly.

Save the Great Beasts for the third film (which is Snowbird's movie; throw in Pestilence and the baby--I love all that stuff).

That means, have the second movie be the depressing "deep" movie that legitimizes the franchise, raising it to a new level of excellence, etc. Owen Gleiberman gives it an "A" and gets all dorked out. Obviously, the focus in number two is on the transition from Mac to Heather as Guardian/Vindicator (as dav suggested), with Department H and Omega Flight causing problems. Oooo...casting Omega Flight. Hmm... Damn! Sorry, got distracted...

So, the team fragements, as you say, allowing for a bigger spotlight on Jeanne-Marie and Walter, Jean-Paul, Puck and Marrina. Oodles of subplots as Mac and Heather struggle.

Dammit, now I'm all excited!

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to think that your AF franchise would hit a lot of the same notes, spookily, as the X-franchise.

I can imagine AF1 as being Marrina sucked up into superheroics...even though she's not on the team she's still the focus of the Master's obsession, they just found her first. Puck, not yet on the A team either, gets left behind...but makes his way up north anyway, and saves the day. Then AF gets decommissioned. WHAMMO!

AF2 then starts with Heather-flashbacks, the "Untold Tales" stuff, as she remembers how things started, all set against Mac's deterioration, and culminating in his own origin story? Then Tundra or whatever, I suppose.

Then AF3: Begins with the Snowbird origin, with Shaman off in the woods!

Or something.

But you know, like you say, there's a whole lot of material here. Better sign the cast for another movie, Jim!

Oooooh, now I'm excited too!

sean witzke said...

Dinklage and Tilda Swinton in the same movie? Damn.

ShaneShock said...

"I'd drive my tires over ten miles of busted glass to see that pppicture!"


Anonymous said...

Other than the plot, which needs a lot of deep thinking, the casting is fantastic. This was one of my favorite comics of all time, aside from X-men. Good work and research on your part.

Unknown said...


Opening Scene.. Starts with Smart Alec (Alex Trebek) is playing all the chessboards outside ryerson.

He is then approached by a man, offers him some work.

Fade out.

Video tapes of hulk smashing up a small sask town (feel free to throw in a Corner Gas cameo) and then mixed with Iron man armour footage go across the screen.

Rejection letters requesting access from stark industries for blue prints marked to the canadian governement cc James Macdonald.

Smart Alec, and another man wearing glasses in lab coat.
One screen, think minority report with magnetic field and gamma radiation reactors, and then turning to front in a suit of armour, images of Earths Magnetic field, avro aero designs and old Alexander Bell self playing piano take over part of the theme of the movie.

Fade out.

Fade into Environmental Labs staffed by Heather Macdonald in a meeting with Weather Channel executives, relevent 'boards', including farmers board, workers and geologists. Over Anthropegnic Sources of Gobal Warming.

Show meassurements from the Hudson Bay company, noting they are the oldest sources of periodic data for temp and rain ever recorded, coupled with geological data, and considering variances in magnetic field intensity of the earth, solar input and deep ocean variances oddly disputing the human factor found (maybe get Michael Cricton to cameo) by the ministry and correlated by austrailia labs and this creates a conflict with Man who hired smart alec pushing for overly costly and dangerous radioactive "GREEN" (gamma) materials reactors.

James and Smart Alec work on a gamma particle detector assuming that man in wheel chair is hiding gamma material for the testing of micro plants him and the current government wish to impliment.

Word of this gets to a MP, director of defence, she is secretly the Dreamqueen with aspirations of taking over the Canadian govt.

Having developed the gamma emitter, Macdonald takes the suit out first giving it a test drive to seek out possible gamma emissions across the country, suspecting the 'man' is hiding them somewhere but finds it also picks up the changes in magnetic fields in 'super' types as well.

proceeds to fly out to halifax, stating there tracking the various members of the team as he teleports across the country.

After some tests initial separation of the groups, where beta is sent to man who hired smart alec, to try to improve the beta's gamma rays manipulated by advances in magnetic field research.

Interesting things result to the Beta's result. This is done behind mac's back but with the help of smart alec.

Dreamqueen, finds Man who hired Smart alec interesting. He rebukes her.

She works out a way to get him fired from his private position at the Gamma Foundation Labs supported by his inability to get the governement to sign on with the mass production of gamma radiation reactors.

While flying around, attempting to fly down to toronto island a military helicopter is hit by a small airplane. Guardian and the alpha team end up only being able to save one of the people on the copter.

The person saved is man who hires smart alec, Guardian flies her home.

Man is found with Dreamqueen (Maybe shapeshifted). Wife comes in gets pissy and leaves him. Man wont stay with dreamqueen, .

She enacts revenge, getting department h shut down, kicking out the team's. But approaches the beta's with a goal of further plans.

Months pass, mac has now drifted into the bottom of a bottle. Heather eventually leaves him for the Shaman. Missing Mac Heather returns ot check in her estranged husband and then finally calls upon a 'friend' Wolvie (maybe) wolvie calls puck and they have an intervention.

Man who hires also drifts to the bottom of the bottle but being alone tries to end it.

Rope snaps and landlady gives him shit for lieing on the floor. Ambulance races him to the hospital, smart alec shows up, bigger brain.

Shaman has a vision during a political rally of the Dreamqueens true identity, shaman is then imprisoned in the dream world, but not before he sends a summons for either snowbird or talisman. Either of these snowbird maybe, ala leeloo multipass finds macdonald.

Just as the Omega flight ambushes Mac. Mac summons help, Alpha and Omega duke it out. It gets evil.

Dreamqueen arrives to handle the talisman or snowbird. talisman opens a portal to send the dreamqueen back, James pulls shaman out while dreamqueen gets sucked back in.
once the portal closes the wall that its on opens up and Mac is grabbed and pulled within with BOX.

Either let it go to black and start part two, or play out the entire BOX and Gaurdian battle, with Heather arriving as mac gets disintigrated.

Fade to black

I'd flesh it out more but i think the plot is sound.

If singer needs some help he can find me at

Unknown said...


James and Smart Alec work on a gamma particle detector assuming that man is hiding gamma material for the testing of micro plants him and the current government wish to impliment.

Mojo said...

The majority of your casting is inspired. I'd never have thought of Tilda for Snowbird but she fits perfectly. I'd rather see Marion Cotillard as Aurora though. Sure she's older than Ulliel but she doesn't look it. And of course I'd pay outrageous sums of money just to see Gaspard Ulliel poured into black spandex :D

R·E said...

PLEASE -- no more super hero films that are 1/2 or more featuring ORIGIN(s) of heroes! GAAH

Don't any filmmakers realize that a 5-10 minutes memory can completely cover an origin? We do not need ANY more first movies to cover that area. If needed, make it an extra on the DVD. :)

As for Alpha Flight movie, follow one main character and then let the others (plus the villains) appear as needed. We don't need the backstory.

Was looking at Wolverine Origins movie -- looks like they might be making the entire film w/o Alpha Flight. Shocking re-write of comic book history -- but certainly not Marvel's first (or last) screenwriting mistake.

IMO Hugh Jackman is a miscast for Wolverine ... but he's a great actor and he can cover it. But remember, Wolverine is small, acrobatic, and feral in the comics. Hugh is big, slow, and brawny -- but I'm willing to give him a break. They did do a canonball attack in last Xmen film (before killing Prof X and Cyclops -- for no reason!??!?!).

b said...

I don't know who you are, but I love you for this.

Anonymous said...

I have seen Everett Rupert as Northstar made by photoshop, as he is older than this one you choose, would be cool.. but Liv Tyler as Aurora is perfect :)

Anonymous said...

patrick dempsey and michelle monaghan as Madison Jefries and Diamond Lil

Anonymous said...

oh man. looooove your casting choices! i cannot wait to see tilda swinton as snowbird. love all your other choices as well. very realistic casting, meaning it can actually happen!