Breaking news – over the weekend Brit comics fans were going nuts over some very teasing tweets from director Duncan Jones (Moon, Warcraft, Mute), hinting that for his next movie he wanted to do a comic based film, a British comics based film, maybe something from 2000 AD…. One tweet had a short video which ended with him taking off his headgear to reveal a hairstyle reminiscent of a certain blue-skinned Genetic Infantryman…
This morning I come into a quick email from Uncle Tharg’s minions (before they jet off to San Diego Comic Con) confirming that yes, Duncan IS directing a Rogue Trooper movie! Stak!!!! Not much in the way of details given how early in the process it is, but damn this is exciting news. We love 2000 AD, it has been a solid pillar of constant quality and innovation in Brit comics for over 40 years, influenced a huge amount of other creators around the world and Rogue is one of the most popular characters of all time, up there with Dredd himself, or Johnny Alpha.
(early Rogue Trooper by Gerry FInley-Day and Dave Gibbons, (c) Rebellion)
A comics movie has to appeal to more than just the comics readers though, and Rogue Trooper, a man genetically modified to fight on a future battlefield where the weaponry has rendered the very atmosphere toxic (the opposing armies fight in special suits, like a high-tech vision of the gas-masked soldiers of the WWI trenches). Rogue needs no suit, is tougher and hardier, built to survive this ruined environment, but he is a man alone, gone rogue, after a traitor gave away information that lead to his entire regiment of Genetic Infantrymen being slaughtered in an ambush. His only companions are his dead comrades – a biochip in their heads can be retrieved on death, placed into slots in his special equipment to power them, preserving their brain patterns, memories and skills to be transplanted into new bodies. With them Rogue plans to hunt down the traitor general who sold out his comrades. I can see that working quite well for a wider audience with no familiarity with the comics.