Comic book writer Grant Morrison’s work has inspired many big and small screen adaptations; in the new DCU, for example, both Superman: Legacy and The Brave and the Bold will borrow heavily from the likes of Action Comics and Batman and Robin.
Morrison even sat down with Ezra Miller to pen a story for The Flash, though Warner Bros. ultimately chose to head in a different direction (for better or worse).
However, that wasn’t the first time he’d heard “no” from the studio. In a recent blog post, Morrison revealed, “My idea for a Wonder Woman movie was one of several I pitched during a creatively fruitless, if financially rewarding, time as a consultant at Warner Bros movies in 2008, alongside Geoff Johns and Marv Wolfman.”
“Other pitches included Teen Titans, Doom Patrol, Green Arrow, several versions of an Aquaman story which I really liked, and a few takes on a potential Superman movie.”
Morrison revealed that he took some of his Superman ideas and included them in the pages of Action Comics. For example, “One iteration of a story had a scene where a terraforming expedition is in trouble on Mars, and an alarm goes out. Cut to the Daily Planet. Lois Lane peeking in a broom closet says ‘Kent?’ while our first glimpse of Superman shows a startled pigeon on a ledge as he hurtles by in a purpling UV blur, then a kid looking out of a plane window as Superman’s streaky upward progress continues, evoking ‘…is it a bird? Is it a plane?…'”
“Then the Earth, seen from orbit – a tiny primary-coloured figure getting closer – closer – Superman,” he wrote. “Most of that sequence showed up in Action Comics #14.”
Wonder Woman was another big screen property Morrison fancied taking a crack at, and while his interpretation would differ greatly from the DCEU’s, the prolific writer says he liked at least some of what he saw on screen.
“I wasn’t a fan of some more recent Red Sonja/Xena interpretation of Wonder Woman where she’s played as the pagan warrior woman from a throwback culture of snarly women. Armed with a sword and shield AND super-powers!”
“Her appearance in Dawn of Justice with Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL’s accelerated, manic ‘Is She with You’ theme is her finest cinematic moment and the best bit in that tale of sound and fury, but I did enjoy the first Wonder Woman movie. Gal Gadot was an engaging lead, operating past the edge of her acting abilities with such purity and determination you can see her talent blossom onscreen, it was impossible not to root for her. The second film didn’t work for me at all.”
Morrison didn’t have much luck with Marvel either, admitting that he unsuccessfully pitched several live-action adaptations to them over the years as well.
“At Marvel I pitched a good Dr. Strange, and I did Moon Knight, Morbius, Warlock – the X-Men alien robot one – and Terror Inc. among others,” he explains. “My published work is the tip of a vast iceberg of written material that will never be seen!”
It’s a shame that Morrison didn’t have much luck getting his ideas on screen, but at the same time, we’re not exactly surprised. His work on the page, while critically acclaimed, also tends to be pretty unique and not necessarily the sort of superhero popcorn entertainment studios like Marvel Studios and Warner Bros. want.