Antony Johnston is an award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of comics, graphic novels, books and video games. He is best known for the post apocalyptic comic series Wasteland and has recently started co-writing Daredevil with current ongoing writer Andy Diggle. His other projects include comics such as Wolverine: Prodigal Son, adaptations of Alan Moore stories, graphic novel adaptations of the Alex Rider novels and the critically-acclaimed videogame, Dead Space.
Despite having a hectic schedule, Antony was kind enough to answer my questions when I contacted him recently about the past and future DD movies, writing the comic book (and possibly movie script?), who he’d like to see play the Man Without Fear and the chances of seeing a Wasteland movie so check out the interview below and share your thoughts in the usual place!
What direction would you like to see the next Daredevil movie take? Are there any particular storylines you'd like to see adapted onto the big screen?
I think it just needs to take itself more seriously, and quit goofing around. I took my girlfriend (a DD fan since the Miller years) to see the first movie on opening night, and the combination of bad CGI and nonsensical story had me cringing in my seat. The performances really weren’t bad — even Affleck was pretty good, I thought — but in 2003, producers still believed a superhero movie had to have its tongue at least half-planted in its cheek. The success of the first Spider-Man movie didn’t help matters in that regard. But that attitude just doesn’t serve a character like DD, especially when you’re ostensibly trying to tell a serious story.
Now that the Nolan Batman movies have proven you don’t have to be cute to make a good and successful superhero movie, we’ll hopefully see something more like that for a new Daredevil. As for stories, I hope (but doubt) that we won’t need to go through the origin yet again. I think pretty much any story since Bendis’ run started would work; something like the King of Hell’s Kitchen arc could be great on-screen.
If you had the chance, would you like to write the movies script or are you happier with handling the character in the comic books?
Sure, of course I would. But so would Bendis, Brubaker, Diggle, in fact just about everyone else who’d worked on DD — and the producers would go to all of those guys before coming to me...!
I’m happy enough doing my bit on the comics. Something that people who don’t work in these industries might not realise is how much freedom comic writers have. You don’t get that kind of creative license on a multi-million dollar production.
Michael C. Hall is a fan favourite to play Daredevil over at CBM. What do you think of that and do you have a personal favourite for who you would to see play DD?
I think he’d be a fine choice, sure. The main thing is finding someone who can simultaneously combine the heroism and vulnerability of Matt Murdock, and Hall could definitely do that. But so could someone like, say, Damien Lewis — who I’ve also seen proposed by fans, but that might just be because he has red hair...! I don’t know if I have a personal favourite; honestly, I haven’t given it that much thought, I’m not one of these writers who “casts” a comic in his head while writing it. How about Zach Quinto? He’d be an interesting choice.
What's it been like working on Daredevil? Anything you can tell us about what to expect in the coming months?
It’s been a lot of fun, and a hell of a way to make my entrance into the superhero field after concentrating on genre comics for the past ten years. I can’t give too much away about the future, sorry — Shadowland has recently been announced at last, and everything I could tell you is in all the news stories about that. Rest assured, there are some big changes ahead for old hornhead.
You're also responsible for the excellent Wasteland series. Would you like to see a movie adaptation and are there any plans for one?
I don’t believe there are any plans at the moment, no, but we’re always open to offers...! Of course I’d love to see a movie of Wasteland, if only for the increased attention it would bring to the comic itself, but it’s not exactly the easiest series to condense down to movie length.
Maybe when the book is finished, someone will come up with a way to compress it all into a couple of hours, but it’s not something I think about too much. I just put my head down and write the best comic I can.
I would of course like to say a big thank you to Antony for taking the time to talk with me and if you’d like to know more about him and his work then click HERE! Plus, Daredevil: Cage Match written by Johnston with art by Sean Chen is out on May 12th.