[Cover from Red Rocket 7: A Saga Do Rock, Image Comics]
We all know Edgar Wright loves comics. Beyond his delightfully kinetic adaptation of Scott Pilgrim vs the World and his Ant-Man film that will never be (though the finished flick has enough Wright-ian touches that we can get a pretty good idea of where he was going), Wright’s stylistic jump cut montages, fluid action sequences and general playfulness make him the man we most want to see bring comics to the big screen. But not just any comics. Only those with the Wright stuff.
Red Rocket 7
Mike Allred is known mainly for his brilliant pop-culture pastiche Madman, and while Wright would no doubt have fun with that book, Allred’s Red Rocket 7 is much more in line with the Brit’s sensibilities. Originally printed the size of a record sleeve, Red Rocket 7 follows the 7th clone of an alien who is picked up hitch-hiking by Little Richard and winds up influencing all of rock-and-roll from David Bowie to the Dandy Warhols (it came out in 1997, so we never get to see the red-haired protagonist hang out with The Veils or Beyoncé). Part rock history lesson, part raygun-weilding parable, Red Rocket 7 would allow Wright to indulge in his love of music and his love of sci-fi weirdness. Sure, getting the rights to use all the music would be a pain, but so, so worth it.
Edgar Wright loves playing with genre conventions. So does Kyle Starks. His graphic novel Sexcastle is an extended ode to 80’s action movies, in all their over-the-top ridiculousness. Like Wright, Starks understands that a collection of jokes is just that without a beating heart to tie them all together, and manages to give the story of the world’s greatest assassin trying to leave his old life behind a surprising amount of poignancy. A Sexcastle movie is already in the works from Fox and director Kyle Newacherk, but one can’t help but imagine what would have happened if Wright had gotten his hands on Shane Sexcastle’s gun-chucks.
The plot seems straightforward: Number 5 of the nine member Rainbow Council has broken ranks and run off with the love of his life, Matroshka. Number 1, head of the council, sends the other members to bring him in dead or alive. But it’s all in how you tell it. No. 5 is hallucinogenic brainchild of Taiyo Matsumoto, creator of Tekkon Kinkreet, and the bizarre designs of the characters and the world they inhabit make this comic a absolute delight from start to…the end of the second volume, as only the first two of the 8-volume series in English. Perhaps a big-screen adaption would get the rest of volumes printed stateside? In any case, who wouldn’t want to see Wright’s take on Matsumoto’s jagged action sequences?
Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma
Take every sports or fighting manga you’ve ever read. Now make it about food. That’s essentially the premise of Yūto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki’s Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma, which pits students of an elite culinary-focused high school against each other in outrageous Iron Chef-style battles. But it’s not just over-the-top melodrama that makes this perfect Wright vehicle. In order to illustrate how the food these kids cook taste, Food Wars has the tasters find themselves suddenly in visually-arresting fantasy lands, literally transported by the delicious flavors. Wright is one of the few directors who could handle both the pitched cooking battles and the fantastic tasting sequences.
Achewood – The Great Outdoor Fight
An oddball choice, no doubt but the more you think about it, the more it makes sense. Chris Onstad’s Achewood has always been about combining surreal with the pathetic. Wright’s body of work speaks to a similar fascination of epic experiences brought down by petty desires. The Great Outdoor Fight in particular is nothing if not extended juxtaposition between the myth-making way people talk about the fight and the reality of the fight itself: a bunch of guys hitting each other in the dirt. Sure, the anthropomorphic characters suggest a challenge. But if Wes Anderson can make The Fantastic Mr. Fox, I see no reason why Wright can’t dip a toe in as well. And how great would it be to have Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have voice cameos?