With Pacific Rim Uprising arriving today in theaters nationwide, director Steven S. DeKnight is immersed in a world where giant robots fight enormous monsters, with the future of humanity at stake. However, mind of the Daredevil and Smallville veteran is never far from superheroes.
A comic book fan since childhood, the filmmaker was asked by CBR which superhero franchise he'd most like to tackle. His answer? DC's Doom Patrol, of course.
"So, I looked at Doom Patrol at DC, something like that, which you can sink your teeth into and make it a little quirky," he said. "Don’t get me wrong. If somebody popped up and said, 'Hey, what about Superman or Spider-Man?,' of course, I’d say yes. I’d be stupid not to. But, I’d love to get my hands on something like a Doom Patrol, something a little bit lesser known. Doing a Doom Patrol movie set in the ‘60s, that would be heaven."
It would be a challenge to tackle a period piece, but a film like Matthew Vaughn's X-Men: First Class already attempted to push the boundaries of modern superhero-movie storytelling with relative success.
Introduced in 1963 in DC's My Greatest Adventure #80, the Doom Patrol -- dubbed on the cover of its series as the "World's Strangest Heroes" -- is a team of super-powered misfits who see their abilities as a curse rather than a gift. Although the characters have appeared in animated form over the years, they'll make their live-action debut later this year on DC's Titans television series.
As for the relatively obscure choice of the Doom Patrol, DeKnight revealed he looked to one of Marvel's unexpected successes for inspiration.
"I grew up reading comics constantly, mostly Marvel and DC. It’s like asking what kind of ice cream you want to eat. I love them all," he told CBR. "Obviously, there’s the big ones. Superman. Batman. Pick any Marvel character. But, for me, if I was going down the path of a big movie or quasi-big movie, I love what James Gunn did. A lot of people didn’t know Guardians of the Galaxy. I knew it from the comics. I remember when it was first announced, I thought, 'Well, that’s insane. I don’t know how they are going to translate Guardians of the Galaxy to the big screen.' James Gunn did such a magnificent job."
In theaters now, Pacific Rim Uprising is headlined by franchise newcomers John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny, Jing Tian, Adria Arjona and Zhang Jin, with returning stars Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day and Burn Gorma.