It looks like yet another Marvel Comics property will soon be making its way to the big screen in what will surely be a magnificent montage of monstrosity. The title of said property? Feel free to start mental drumrolls… Crash Ryan! Are those crickets I’m imagining hearing? Or perhaps that faint scraping sound is attributed to the collective scratching of heads from people pondering the all-too-critical question, "who the hell is Crash Ryan?!" Well, he is a character who once graced the pages Marvel Comics and, thanks to a producer’s recent purchase of the film rights, it looks like he’s getting a movie.
According to a report from Variety, producer, Ryan Heppe has acquired the movie rights to Crash Ryan; a Marvel Comics property started in the mid 1980’s as a miniseries that we can safely classify as "obscure." However, while it won’t likely have a place in Marvel Studios’ Avengers-centric Cinematic Universe, the title does seem inventive. According to the comic book’s original creator, Ron Harris,
Crash Ryan’ is the product of a mishmash of influences: my childhood spent on Navy airbases; the old flying movies and Masked Villain serials I loved on latenight TV, and especially my fascination with predictions of future life made in the 1930s.
The story takes place in an alternate version of 1935 where real life contemporaneous technology and aesthetics have been fused with over-the-top serial film/comic book influences - and the world is under the threat of a sprawling, evil organization run by a mysterious villain who calls himself The Doom. In many ways, it’s the kind of quasi-historical fare that we’ve seen prominently with 1991’s The Rocketeer and 2004’s Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. In fact, the report even hints that the film will sport a stylistic influence of "an earthbound, steampunk-inspired fusion of Indiana Jones and Star Wars."
The Crash Ryan comic book title debuted in 1984 under Marvel’s more mature-themed Epic Comics banner, which was the brainchild of then-editor-in-chief, Jim Shooter (who was tasked with reinvigorating the broader Marvel brand that had gone stale in the 1970’s). The banner, which was sporadically ended and resurrected over the decades, also served as a point of exposure for mature superhero fare like Frank Miller’s darker Elektra solo series’, Dreadstar, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs and even facilitated the 1988 release of the original Akira manga series here in the United States. As a result, we probably should expect Crash Ryan to me a more clever kind of comic book film, infused with some meta sensibilities, serving as an ode to fans who understand the internal construction of big-budget fiction in an intimate way.
While still in the earliest of processes, Crash Ryan actually already nabbed its scribes starting with David Cowper, who recently co-authored a script called Road Dawgs with The Outsiders author, S.E. Hinton. The aforementioned rights-securing producer, Ryan Heppe will actually bunker down and co-write the script with Cowper. This does seem to be a rather odd collection of creative forces, since both of their credits are somewhat obscure and extremely sporadic. However, writer/producer Heppe does have another major project on his docket to prove that "Number Five is alive," as he is producing the upcoming remake of the 1986 robotic romp, Short Circuit.
No details have been released regarding when Crash Ryan plans to fly his gigantic steampunk mega-plane to theaters.