Plastic Man is receiving new life as a film project but it’s not going to be the wisecracking stretchy guy everyone is used to – with a report saying we’re in for a gender-bending twist in the character’s first live-action cinematic outing.
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According to The Hollywood Reporter, Plastic Man is being switched to “a female-led vehicle” at this early stage in development. It’s not known if that means the title and names will get changed to suit the new direction, but we’ll see.
Tasked with drafting a script on this “new track” is writer Cat Vasko, whose biggest claim to fame is writing unproduced screenplays that made the list of an annual survey – known as The Black List – of “most-liked” scripts not greenlit.
Apart from that minor accolade, Vasko worked on a failed adaptation of Boom! Studios’ Lumberjanes and doesn’t have anything notable to her name except four projects currently in development.
One is an adaptation of the book Queen of the Air that tells the story of early 20th century trapeze artist Lillian Leitzel. Margot Robbie is attached to star in that and has been since 2016, but not much is new on that front.
The script for Plastic Man was initially being penned by Amanda Idoko – who has slightly more credits than Vasko – as “a comedic action-adventure” presumably truer to his slapstick roots at Quality Comics of criminal turned wacky avenger.
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Idoko’s body of work up to now includes one episode of the short-lived ABC comedy The Mayor and the upcoming thriller Breaking News in Yuba County, starring Allison Janney, Juliette Lewis, and Mila Kunis.
DC Films President Walter Hamada is overseeing production on Plastic Man, as he has with everything these past few years, and so is SVP Chantal Nong.
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A movie centered around Plastic Man has most recently been in the pipeline since 2018, but what our readers may not know is Warner Bros. has been trying for years to get one off the ground. WB, looking for their next DC hit in the wake of Tim Burton’s Batman, gave thought to adapting the shapeshifter to the screen in the 90s.
A script, that made alter ego Patrick O’Brian (renamed Daniel) a radical and neurotic environmentalist, was written by the Wachowskis before they cemented their name with Bound or The Matrix. When it came to real names in Hollywood, Steven Spielberg expressed a passing interest in directing.
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Spielberg’s involvement didn’t come to fruition and, with Plastic Man deemed too obscure a property, the project went cold until 2008 when it was given the green light again to capitalize on the resurgence of comic book movies.
Everybody’s favorite go-to for a lead, Keanu Reeves, and later David Tennant were cast as O’Brian at various points before momentum on the film and every utterance of it suddenly stopped. It was simply left to wither on the vine of pre-production.
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The Wachowskis’ oddball script – and its derided humor – is online for those curious enough to read it. If it proves anything, it’s that the major studios just don’t get Plastic Man. Cat Vasko’s script might capture the spirit of the character, regardless of gender, but that’s unlikely.
No names have been tapped to direct or star as of yet.
Are you interested in seeing a gender-swapped Plastic Man?