Adam McKay, the versatile director of the upcoming Dick Cheney film Vice, has confessed that his dream film project would be an adaptation of Marvel’s Silver Surfer.
McKay, the former head writer at Saturday Night Live and Oscar-winning filmmaker behind an eclectic mix of movies including The Big Short and Anchorman, told Josh Horowitz on the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast that he would “do anything” to make a film featuring the Silver Surfer.
“Silver Surfer is the one I want to do, man,” McKay said. “I would do anything to do Silver Surfer, because visually that would be … you could do what the Wachowskis did with Speed Racer with the Silver Surfer. At the same time, there’s a great emotional story in there to save his planet.”
The Wachowskis, the creators of the Matrix trilogy, followed up that success with a live action version of the 1960s anime Speed Racer, starring Emile Hirsch, Matthew Fox, and Christina Ricci. The film was largely a critical and commercial failure, earning only $93 million worldwide against a $120 million budget, according to IMDB, with a 37 score on Metacritic. However, some critics have considered it a masterpiece that was unjustly berated for being a dramatic reversal from the dark, pensive Matrix trilogy.
“Speed Racer’s distinctive visual style has gone on to be cribbed by other films. Similar rat-a-tat edits and jelly-bean color coordination can be seen in The Lego Movie and are even referenced in gaming — such as the retro-infused styling of the Fallout series and clean lines descending into chaos in Portal,” wrote Jon Humbert in the Hollywood Reporter.“No doubt, this kind of compositing and editing has made an impression on visual-effects artists.”
The Silver Surfer is a Marvel character who originally appeared in The Fantastic Four comics in 1966. A cosmic scout aboard his surfboard-like spacecraft for the villainous, planet-eating Galactus, the Silver Surfer exchanged his services for the sparing of his homeworld. However, the Silver Surfer changes his mind after coming to earth and meeting The Fantastic Four, ultimately betraying Galactus and saving the world.
McKay is no stranger to the superhero genre, as he co-wrote the script for Ant-Man with Paul Rudd and ended up directing the film after initially turning it down. According to The Wrap, McKay called working with Kevin Feige and Marvel a “career highlight” and that he would love to do another Marvel project in the future.
“I really enjoyed working with Feige. There’s a reason that thing is clicking. That guy’s got good taste,” McKay said. “I would definitely go back there and work, and then I got a big, giant Ant-Man poster signed by Stan Lee out of it.”
The Silver Surfer appeared onscreen before in the 2007 film Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Fox had owned the rights to the Fantastic Four franchise as well as the X-Men, but with Fox merging with Disney there could be a potential reboot of both franchises under the Disney flagship.
“I’ll call Emma Watts, I’ll call Kevin Feige,” McKay told The Wrap. “I think you just created the ‘Silver Surfer’ movie!”