Erik Scott de Bie likes superheroes. Not only has he written them for Cobalt City, he’s been working on a comic book idea for years and has centered his Forgotten Realms novel Downshadow (and the sequel, Shadowbane coming out in September) on a superhero-like urban vigilante. So it’s no huge surprise that I ended up going to a matinee of Captain America with him and my son on an impulse yesterday.
The big surprise came on the way to the theater when we got talking about superhero movies.
“So, who would you cast in a Cobalt City movie, because of course you’d work casting approval into your contract,” he said.
And I’ll be honest. I haven’t given it a lot of thought before. Other than the dream of seeing Robert Rodriguez produce a Gato Loco series for Telemundo, I haven’t even considered the rest of the Cobalt City universe on the big screen.
A few things were clear. There would be no origin stories because I’m tired of seeing origin stories. Second, any movies would have to be post-Protectorate era, because the cast was far too big otherwise. It bugged me for a while until I came upon the perfect solution. Not one movie, but the Marvel model of smaller movies to introduce the characters in a more intimate way, then a possible big-scale movie after.
With that in mind, I put together the Cobalt City Cinema pitch. The movies would be developed with a mid-list budget rather than aim for blockbuster. And they would be produced to come out in six-month increments in the following order. Casting suggestions will be listed after the character name. If you don’t know the actor, IMDB is your friend.
Cobalt City: Bloodlines
Wild Kat (Haley Atwell) and Velvet (Zoe Bell) stop the assassination of a visiting Chinese industrialist only to discover a link to the Wild Kat’s vigilante/saboteur uncle who had gone missing in inland China decades ago. Together they travel to China on the trail of a legendary conspiracy of the Dragon Queen, hoping to discover the fate of the Wrecker of Engines. Their paths cross with the immortal Lo Ping (Donnie Yen), Scion of the Monkey King, but is he there to help or hinder their cause? Dream director, Jee-woon Kim.
Cobalt City: Stars in Darkness
When a jealous and unstable rival takes the identity of U-Foe (Colin Hanks) and puts Stardust (Steve Zahn) and his family in the crosshairs, Cobalt City’s tech-based hero has no choice but to seek help. That help comes in the form of his former mentor, the retired Tatterdemalion (Linda Hamilton) who brings her black ops training to the case. An explosive game of cat and mouse begins that threatens to tear Cobalt City apart. Ideal director, Paul Greengrass.
Cobalt City: Higher Purpose
No longer specifically in the hero game, longtime friends and partners Archon (Bradley Cooper) and Gallows (Jorge Garcia…yes, unexpected casting, but I think he’d be great in this role), have gone into business together. Billing themselves as trouble-shooters, they have offices around the world (appointment only) where they will solve your problems: for a fee. But as the global situation continues to deteriorate, the duo considered if they can make the word a better place with the surgical application of pressure. Where is the line between heroism and fascism? And Gallows finds himself wrestling with the question of whether Archon is a savior or a madman. This is going to be a slow-burn character piece, so I would love to see Brad Anderson direct.
Cobalt City: Legacies
Bearing the centuries old mantle of The Huntsman (Jensen Ackles) protects the streets of Cobalt City with a high-powered bow and an arsenal of high-tech arrows. Together with the mentalist Libertine (Shannyn Sossamon), they uncover a forgotten experiment started by fellow hero Worm Queen (Constance Marie) and virologist Nicodemus Candledark (Jared Leto) a decade before. Time is running out before a plague of biblical proportions erupts within Cobalt City. Huntsman and Libertine race to stop Candledark’s agents while Worm Queen takes to the lab to find a way to reverse the coming apocalypse. For the high-octane creepy and weird this movie will bring, I can’t imagine a better director than Timur Bekmambetov.
There you go, Erik. This is all your fault.