Four Letter Nerd

Tag - Quantum and Woody

Fancasting Valiant Comics Movies

By now most all of you have heard the news that Valiant Comics was able to secure funding with their film division, for the purpose of developing their properties to hit the big screen. And I suppose the small screen too? Comic book shows are all the rage on TV right now, for sure. Well, being that my fellow 4LN writer Cameron and I have become big Valiant fans lately, we decided it would be fun to fancast our picks for who should play our favorite characters when the come to life. We reached out to our Valiant super-cool-uncle Steven Boyd (I was gonna say “Valiant godfather”, but that would age him more than would be fair) to see if he’d wanna jump in on the fun. He did! Check out our picks below, and let us know who you’d pick!

 

Bloodshot

Steve B: Thomas Jane as Bloodshot. He’s the friggin Punisher. He already knows how to act, can handle a gun and take a punch. Somebody give this guy some nanites already.

Cam: Anson Mount – If you are unfamiliar with Anson Mount, go watch AMC’s Hell on Wheels. This guy is gruff, capable of portraying a cold-hearted killer, and has the kind of square jaw, anti-hero attitude you would expect from a nanite-powered killing machine.

 

X-O Manowar

Steve B: Chris Hemsworth as X-O Manowar (Aric of Dacia). If Chris Evans can be the Human Torch AND Captain America, then Chris Hemsworth can be both Thor and Aric of Dacia. Solid actor, good physique and is versatile enough to play a Visigoth out of time.

Cam: Alexander Skarsgård – X-O Manowar is as Dacian from the 6th century who was captured by aliens, steals their most powerful weapon (a suit of high tech armor capable of destroying pretty much whatever he wants to destroy), and returns to modern day Earth after escaping. The character is a tall, blonde haired warrior of the North. I think Skarsgaard fits that bill perfectly.

 

Eternal Warrior/ Gilad Anni-Padda

Stephen: I’m going with Charlie Hunnam here. I feel like there’s a wealth of depth to that guy’s acting talents and I don’t think we’ve seen the extent to his abilities. Grow out his hair a little bit and dye it brown… I absolutely think he could be the Eternal Warrior.

Steve B: Michael Shannon as Eternal Warrior.

 

Toyo Harada

Steve B: Ken Watanabe – I thought this guy had the coolest voice in BATMAN BEGINS. I had never seen THE LAST SAMURAI, but when I think of Harada, I think of Ken Watanabe. Very commanding presence and a great actor in general.

Cam: I also pick Ken Watanabe – I literally cannot think of anyone else who could play the ultimate baddy of the Valiant universe. Toyo Harada is one of the most powerful psiots in the world, and hopes to use his power to force the world into peace, even if that means wiping out swaths of people along the on the way. Ken Watanabe is the chosen one for this role.

 

Rai

Steve B: Byung Hun Lee (Storm Shadow from G.I.JOE films) as RAI.

Stephen: I’m actually just gonna echo Steve on this one. I think Lee would make an excellent Rai. He’s definitely got the martial arts talent, and he can certainly pull of the cold, emotionless warrior persona. Plus, ever since I saw him in “I Saw The Devil”, I’ve felt like he deserves a chance to be the lead in an American film. The dude can certainly carry a film.

 

Ninjak

Cam: Tom Hardy – Ninjak, aka Colin King, is a British millionaire/billionaire(?) that also happens to be a badass ninja assassin/intelligence agent. A majority of the time his face is obscured by a mask that covers the lower half of his face. Who is a British actor that is good enough at selling emotion with facial expressions that he can wear a mask a majority of the time and still be awesome? Tom Hardy. Although Hardy would have to reduce his bulkiness back to Inception levels, but he has proven he can pretty much add mass and lose it at will.

Stephen: So, my choice for Ninjak is someone most of you have probably seen, but never knew… Scott Adkins. He’s been in films like Bourne Ultimautim, The Expendables 2, and Zero Dark Thirty. He has martial arts training in his background and was even in a movie called Ninja II. So… yeah. The dude could be Ninjak easy.

 

Ivar Anni-Padda, Timewalker

Steve B: Tom Wisdom as Ivar the Timewalker. My first relative unknown casting for the VALIANT Universe would be Wisdom, who played an ill-fated soldier in 300. He has a super-hero like quality about him and could probably do a great job playing a man out of time. Surround him with a great cast and you’ve got a hit.

Cam: Ewan McGregor – Ivar, the Timewalker, is an immortal time-traveler who is highly intelligent and also a bit of a sarcastic ass. Ewan McGregor could be believable as both an intelligent gentleman and a bit of a jerk in a Sherlockian sort of way. Also, if McGregor grew his hair out he would be a spitting image (I don’t actually know the origin of this phrase) of how Ivar is depicted in his new series.

 

Shadowman/Jack Boniface

Stephen: I’m going with Wentworth Miller (Prison Break, The Flash) for Shadowman. I feel like he’s got the chops to be the lead and he’s done action before, but I feel like one of the things that makes him stand out the most to me, is that he’s also a writer, with some darker-style work in his repertoire (Stoker, the upcoming psychological-horror-thriller The Disappiontments Room). Not only could he play Shadowman, he could write on the film as well…

Steve B: Taylor Kitsch as Jack Boniface. I thought he got Gambit’s Cajun accent down pretty good in X-MEN ORIGINS WOLVERINE, plus he’s a very mysterious looking dude. And he’s been the lead in an action movie (JOHN CARTER). He’s your Shadowman.

 

Quantum and Woody

Steve B: Owen Wilson for Woody, and Michael Jai White for Quantum.  Michael has a super hero’s physique and I believe could play the straight guy in a comedy duo pretty good after seeing him in BLACK DYNAMITE. Owen Wilson is probably a little old for the role, but his Jethro Tull line from ARMAGEDDON wins him Woody’s role instantly.

 

Stephen: This was a tough one for me because Quantum & Woody is my favorite Valiant series. After much deliberation, I’ve settled on Beck Bennett (SNL) for Woody and Lance Gross for Quantum. Now I know he doesn’t *quite* have the look, and his sense of humor comes across more dry than sarcastic, but my reasoning for choosing Bennett is simple… Chris Pratt. If Andy Dwyer can become Star-Lord, then Bennett could become Woody.

Lace Gross is someone you probably don’t know, but he was a on a short-lived NBC drama-thriller called Crisis and he’s got the right look for Quantum. He’s not a comedian, and he can be serious, so balancing Bennett’s Woody with Gross’ Quantum would make for an excellent “world’s worst superhero team”.

 

Archer & Armstrong

Cam: Archer, Logan Lerman – This one took a little longer than the others. Archer is a younger character that is indoctrinated since his birth by an evil organization, but eventually realizes that he has been manipulated and teams up with the immortal hobo, Armstrong, whom he was sent to assassinate. He has the ability to mimic any ability he sees, be it physical or mental, and is in terrific shape. After seeing Lerman in both the Percy Jackson movies (the books were better, but he was good) and Fury, I think he has terrific range to play both the indoctrinated, hyper-religious assassin and the confused, burgeoning superhero.

For Armstrong, John Goodman – Armstrong is an affable, immortal hobo with a penchant for good drink and good poetry. During his long, long life he has rolled with the likes of Michelangelo and Da Vinci, but more recently has teamed up with Archer to form a buddy-cop comedy of a super-duo. I’ll admit, Goodman might be a tad old to play Armstrong, but he has the look, the humor, and the girth. He would be absolutely perfect.

 

Stephen: I like Dave Franco for Archer. Based on his performance in Unfinished Business, I definitely think he could capture the sheltered, naive aspect of Archer’s personality, and I think if given the chance he could hold his own in some action sequences.

I’m gonna just tag on to Cam’s choice for Armstrong here, and say John Goodman would be great, but to offer my own reasoning, I choose him because of his performance in Kevin Smith’s Red State. I remember seeing that for the first time and thinking, “When did John Goodman (kind of) get in shape and become a badass?”

 

Got some of your own suggestions for who should star in the Valiant Comics movies? Let us know in the comments!

Quantum And Woody Must Die! #2 Preview + An Interview with Writer James Asmus

Last week we published a review/preview of Valiant Comic’s “Quantum and Woody Must Die #1”. I highly recommend you take a few minutes and read that because Quantum and Woody is one of the most satisfying comics you will ever read.

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“Did somebody say ‘Satisfying’…?”

Let’s keep the Q&W love rolling how ’bout it? Below is my interview with Quantum and Woody writer James Asmus. James was nice enough to let me ask him about his work on the series and what it’s in store for the fellas in his new mini-series “Quantum and Woody Must Die!” Check it out!

 

4LN – How did you initially get your start writing comics?
James Asmus – The short version is – years of acting in theatre turned into improv, turned into comedy writing, turned into playwrighting. As a lifelong comics fan, when a show I wrote and performed went to New York, I asked friends who worked for Marvel to come see the show (mostly so I could ask geeky questions). Turns out they liked the show enough to offer me a chance to write an X-Men short (for Manifest Destiny #1!). And I’ve been doing my damnedest to stay in comics since.

4LN – A couple of years Valiant Comics relaunched Quantum and Woody with you at the helm writing for the dysfunctional duo. How did you connect with Valiant for this opportunity, and were you familiar at all with the series when you came on-board?
JA – I met Valiant at C2E2 or NYCC before they launched. When Quantum & Woody came up, I had another bad-behavior buddy-comedy at Image, The End Times of Bram & Ben. Valiant editor Jody LeHeup thought I might be a good fit and asked me to pitch. I read the original shortly after it ended – and LOVED it. It was so fresh, funny, and idiosyncratic. So, as excited as I was to pitch, it also felt like a lot of pressure -slash- an amazing opportunity.

4LN – One of the greatest things about your initial run on Quantum and Woody is the random and obscure pop-culture references. Do you go out of your way to throw them in there, or does it just come naturally to you?
JA – Those, like most of the book, is just me trying to let my brain spill straight onto the pages. I wanted to make my run as idiosyncratic to me as Christopher Priest’s was to him. I basically perform one-man improv in my house until something feels right.

4LN – Moving on to your new Quantum and Woody mini-series, “Quantum and Woody Must Die”, I have to ask the question that is on every Q&W fan’s mind… Is this real life?! Are they really going to die?! Couldn’t it just be like, “Quantum and Woody Get Hurt Pretty Bad But Nothing A Couple Weeks Rest And A Prescription For Diazepam Can’t Fix”?! (I apologize for that outburst.)
To be serious though, how did the idea for “Quantum and Woody Must Die” come about?
JA – The original idea was about how much collateral damage they caused in those first issues. Quantum and Woody are undoubtedly the villains in plenty of other peoples’ stories. The fun’s been in blowing that idea out and discovering all the different angles the deadly dangers can come from…

4LN – Another thing that I believe makes Quantum and Woody stand out as such a great comic is the seemingly fearless approach to the humor. You make jokes that would never fly in a book at either one of the “Big 2 Publishers”, but the non-PC jokes never feel forced or like they’re only there for shock value. It’s clearly intentional to push the envelope, but I’m curious if you’ve ever thrown in jokes that you ended up pulling cause maybe you felt they pushed the envelope too far?
JA – I have definitely written stuff at 2am that, in the clear light of morning, I realized wasn’t on the right side of the risque/offensive divide. In general, I trust my fantastic editors and collaborators to let me know when something isn’t landing right or earning its right to push buttons. The rule I try to go by is that I don’t mind something being “offensive” when it’s in service of a larger point you’re trying to make. But I’ve been thrilled and surprised by what Valiant has let me say and do.

4LN – Lastly, Can you give us some clues as to what we can expect in the forthcoming issues of “Quantum and Woody Must Die”?
JA – The first year of Quantum & Woody was all about setting them up to be super heroes. –Must Die! is about blowing out their world with all the dangers and trappings of a nicely complicated superhero existence. But in Quantum & Woody fashion – it comes faster and more off-kilter than your usual super-books. Deceit! Actual super-villains! Drugs! Endangered species! Picnics! Revelations! And what I expect will be a genuinely surprising death. (DEATH!) Plus – Woody’s brain is abnormal already. There’s no way HYPNOSIS doesn’t go awry.
If that’s not enough to make you add it to your reading pile – just remember that this is wall-to-wall brought to life by Eisner Award-winning artist and genuinely hilarious storyteller STEVE LIEBER. If you don’t plunk down your funny book dollars for that guy – I don’t see why you’re even reading comics.

 

I want to send a big THANK YOU to James for speaking with us! He’s a great guy and Quantum and Woody Must Die! is off to an awesome start! Below you’ll find Valiant’s solicitation for issue #2, plus some full color preview pages!

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QUANTUM AND WOODY MUST DIE! #2 (of 4)

Written by JAMES ASMUS
Art by STEVE LIEBER
Cover by MIKE HAWTHORNE
Variant Cover by JOHNNIE CHRISTMAS
Variant Cover by SINA GRACE

The fix is in – and award-winning creators James Asmus (Gambit) and Steve Lieber (Superior Foes of Spider-Man) are about to unleash a world of hurt on the world’s worst superhero mis-adventurers!

Quantum and Woody have been hyp-mo-tized! But why? And how did these two chuckleheads suddenly become the heroes and idols of millions? A sinister puppet master lays his cards on the table and activates his Manchurian Candidates. Because when the world’s worst superhero team swoops into action…Quantum and Woody must die!

$3.99 US | T+ | 32 pgs. | On sale FEBRUARY 25

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Variant Cover by JOHNNIE CHRISTMAS

 

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Variant Cover by SINA GRACE

4LN Advance Comic Review and Preview – Quantum & Woody Must Die #1

Series: Quantum & Woody Must Die
Writer: James Asmus
Art: Steve Lieber, with Dave McCaig and Dave Lanphear
Publisher: Valiant Comics

Summary from Valiant Comics:

Multiple Harvey Award nominee James Asmus (Quantum and Woody, The Delinquents) and Eisner Award-winning artist Steve Lieber (Superior Foes of Spider-Man) are here to bring the most talked-about, most award-not-winning-est heroes in comics to a whole new high! Unfortunately, there are a bunch of people that would like to kill them up there.

They came. They saw. They pissed off a whole lotta folks. And now a team of mystery vigilantes has singled out the world’s worst superhero team for complete and utter destruction. Their first target: their minds! But who are these all-new enemies? Are Quantum and Woody hitting it off with a sexy duo of cat burglars? And, dear god, what have they done to the goat? Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Sex Criminals isn’t the only comic that can quote Queen, comics fans – here come Quantum and Woody! (Or so they think! [Trippy, right?!])

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Quantum & Woody is my new favorite comic. Those characters, and what James Asmus has done with them, is absolutely, unequivocally, without a doubt… the best thing in modern comics. And I run a comic book news & reviews website so clearly I know what I’m talking about and therefore you shouldn’t question my vast knowledge and omnipotence. (You see what the other 4LN guys have to put with?)

So, as soon as Quantum & Woody became my new favorite, Valiant goes and does this $h!+! (That last exclamation point is an actual exclamation, not a part of the expletive). Here’s a transcript of the conversation I attempted to have with them regarding the subject…

Do you see that $h!+?! (See previous expletive note.) I tried to be polite and friendly and they just got all flippant and rude! How could those bastards be so cold, so cruel, so heartless?! Do they even care about how important Quantum & Woody are to our nation’s cultural and economic growth?! Am I the only one who recognizes how desperately we need them to save us not only from the vile super-villains that plague our society but sometimes, just sometimes, we even need them to save us from ourselves… (Side note: auto-correct tried to get me to change “super-villains” to “vaudevillians” so Valiant, if you’re reading this, I think I may have just discovered the name of Quantum & Woody’s next team of foes. That is, assuming, you END THIS DEATH OF QUANTUM AND WOODY CHARADE RIGHT THIS INSTANT!) I’m sorry. I got a little carried away and I sincerely apologize. (This has gone on entirely too long…)

How’s about we get down to business finally. Quantum & Woody #1 continues the adventures of everyone’s favorite terrible superhero duo. If you made it this far you probably already read the summary from the murderous cretins over at Valiant so in order to avoid being too repetitious I’ll not repeat the summary that way you don’t end up reading a bunch of redundancies. (I’m gonna lay off the Valiant ridicule now because the last thing I want is for them to send Ninjak or Bloodshot after me. I LOVE YOU VALIANT! YOU’RE ALL AMAZING PEOPLE! PLEASE DON’T SEND RAI TO MURDER ME!)

James Asmus is once again in great form here, putting the guys in situations they couldn’t possibly get out of without being hopelessly disorganized and dysfunctional. Quantum & Woody face every obstacle head on with maturity, class, wisdom… oh who am I kidding… they face every obstacle in this issue the same way they’ve faced every obstacle in the past…with extreme hesitation, incompetence, and just a tad bit of racism! (Ok, so that last part is mostly Woody. This time he offends people of the Asian demographic! That’s a new one I think…)

Meanwhile, Goat (who also just happens to be the host for Quantum & Woody’s dead father’s consciousnesses) is preparing to give birth! I should clarify, if you haven’t read the previous Quantum & Woody series then you’re gonna be really lost and confused here, but hey! That’s what recap pages are for!

One of my favorite things in comics is when there are random and/or obscure pop-cultural references. It enhances the reading experience and helps to keep comics relevant. I struggle with serious comics. I’m like, “God… move on… we get it already… Every hundred years the gods come to earth pretending to be sorceresses who hide in the trees and torment little girls who just so happen to have superpowers but are unknowingly possessed by a demon that comes from a dimension of naked frog people.” That plot is getting really overused people. Give me a good ol’ fashioned reference to The Wire or 90’s gangster rap songs any day. And Quantum and Woody Must Die #1 has both of those and more! This is the definition of a win-win situation if ever I’ve seen one.

Mr. Steve Lieber and his team have done a great job with the artwork and lettering here in this issue. It’s got a clean, classic comic book look and the colors are perfect. But don’t just take it from me! Check out these preview pages that the noble, generous, and all-around great folks over at Valiant sent to us! And make sure you pick up Quantum and Woody Must Die #1 when it hits the stands at your local comic shop tomorrow!

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Variant Cover by JOHNNIE CHRISTMAS

 

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Variant Cover by CHIP ZDARSKY