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For the past year, actor Ben Schwartz has been publicly campaigning to play Plastic Man in a feature film adaptation of the DC comics character. When he first started talking about it, there didn’t seem to be anything in the works, but in December, Warner Bros. hired writer Amanda Idoko to write the script for a Plastic Man movie. We haven’t heard much since then, but Ben Schwartz is still banging the drum for the character, saying how Plastic Man could be DC’s Deadpool:
But in my head, how much fun if he was a thief, got superpowers, and was like, ‘Screw it, I want to keep being crooked.’ But he’s also, if you look at the cartoons or the other iterations of him, he’s funny! He’s so funny. And I think what Ryan Reynolds and Tim Miller did with Deadpool, you could have a funny superhero in DC. Shazam! just did it and I think it’s gonna be great. That’s it, I just love that character a lot. I think I’d get to be goofy if I ever got the chance to do it.
An actor doesn’t need to be a fan of a character to do a great job playing them, but it’s always cool when an actor has genuine enthusiasm for a part and talks openly about their hopes for a film to get made and to star in it. Ben Schwartz has some fun ideas too, and he makes a great point that the slap-sticky Plastic Man, a.k.a. Patrick “Eel” O’Brian, could fit a similar niche as Deadpool did for the Fox universe of superhero films and will soon do for Disney.
Ryan Reynolds and Tim Miller found remarkable success with the hilarious Deadpool, so there is clearly an audience for that kind of superhero and Plastic Man is one of DC’s resident wisecrackers. Ben Schwartz obviously has a ton of love for the character and is eager to see him on screen and be the one playing him. The actor even knows what approach he would like such a film to take.
In the comics, Patrick O’Brian is a small-time criminal and thief who fell into a vat of chemicals during a heist (seriously, where is the regulation on open chemical vats in the DC universe?) and then gained powers of superhuman malleability and elasticity, similar to Stretch Armstrong or Mr. Fantastic. “Eel” then reformed to become a crime fighter and eventually became a member of the Justice League.
Ben Schwartz would like to skip that last part where Plastic Man reforms himself and instead just have some fun with him as a hilarious crook. It’s a cool idea and you definitely could make Plastic Man something of an anti-hero in the DC universe; a character who is inherently good, but does a lot of bad stuff, a la Deadpool.
The DC universe has been taking a turn towards lighter fare in recent films, highlighted most recently, as Ben Schwartz mentioned to Comicbook.com, by this weekend’s Shazam! So considering that DC seems to be doing a lot of experimenting lately and the fact that someone is working on a Plastic Man script as a comedic action-adventure, means that it’s not impossible that Ben Schwartz could get his wish.
As evidenced by the recent Joker trailer, DC has been experimenting lately and trying different things, and a Plastic Man movie starring Parks and Recreation’s Jean-Ralphio could definitely stand out in the marketplace, doing something different while tapping in to the same thing that made the Deadpool franchise successful.
We haven’t heard anything on the Plastic Man movie since we heard about the hiring of a writer but we’ll keep you updated on this project as it develops. In the meantime, you can look forward to Ben Schwartz playing a more famous character, this one from the video game world and possessing super speed, in Sonic the Hedgehog, where he voices the blue blur.
Sonic the Hedgehog races into theaters on November 8. Check out our 2019 release schedule to keep track of all the biggest movies coming to theaters this year.