The Nature of Adaptation: Form v. Content

Hulu added the second season of Fargo to instant streaming recently, and my wife and I devoured it this past weekend. One episode in, and we were hooked. Fargo is an even blend of style, mystery, action, and dark Midwestern humor. It’s a show that uses style, editing, and composition to fully submerge its audience into the emotions of the sequence, rather than hanging its hat on a melodramatic narrative structure.

When we finished, I felt the need to immediately blurt out, “This is one of the best comic book adaptations I’ve ever seen.” This sounded silly and confusing in that Fargo isn’t adapted from a comic book. It carries the name of a popular Coen Brothers movie and crafts crime stories in the style and tone of the film. There were no comic books to be found on the set of the film, and none of the iconic characters from the world of comics even graced the background.

But that’s what makes this adaptation interesting. While Marvel and DC continue to make films using their popular licensed characters, the second season of Fargo is more of a comic book adaptation than either of the “cinematic universes” that the aforementioned companies are dumping into movie theaters.

Continue reading

GEEK PITCH: Star Wars Spinoff

We already have a Star Wars movie coming out about the theft of the original Death Star plans. It’s called Rogue One, and it’s been described as a “heist” film. Other than that, we have little to no details on the story, characters, or structure of the film. It’s doubtful Disney will utilize the Expanded Universe (now called Legends) as a source to pull ideas from on this endeavor, but that doesn’t mean fanboys and fangirls can’t dream. With that in mind, I’ve presented a fun film pitch below incorporating one of the Expanded Universe’s most legendary characters, Kyle Katarn, into this new Star Wars canon. This won’t be a dream pitch for Rogue One, mind you. It’s a pitch for an all-new film to fit alongside Rogue One and the rumored direction of the new trilogy.



Open on a prisoner in some remote Imperial facility. He’s a human, male, with brown, disheveled hair and a scraggly beard. Day in and day out this prisoner finds himself working in the mines, dreaming of a handful of times in the past when life was tolerable. One of his recurring visions is of a woman, a redhead whose name he never learned, with whom he boosted stolen goods on the lawless world of Nar Shaddaa. There was the briefest of intimacy between them, one that’s all but gone, looping itself like a waking nightmare as time blurs the days together. The only breaks in his mental torment are when some of the other human-hating inmates pick fights with him. He fights back some days. Other days, our protagonist takes the pain. Because it’s all he’s got left. His is a life sentence.

Continue reading