Though the MCU has definitely reigned supreme at the box office in recent years, moving forward, Warner Bros’ DC universe does look like it’ll set itself apart and possibly benefit from its more offbeat choices coming down the pipeline. There’s a noir version of Gotham coming in The Batman and a wacky war movie with James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. And among the other projects in development over at WB, the Plastic Man movie is moving forward, but with a stretchy new course.
Now this decision might ask fans to get real flexible. Plastic Man has been in the works over at the studio since 2018, but its latest update is a new writer and direction. Instead of Amanda Idoko writing the action comedy, another newcomer, Cat Vasko, will be working on a version of the project that will feature a female lead. It’s unclear whether the DC hero will be portrayed as a woman. Following the Elisabeth Moss-led The Invisible Man, it’s possible Plastic Man just might not be told from the perspective of the hero.
Plastic Man originally started as a Quality Comics character in 1941 before the elastic-powered hero moved to DC when its prior publisher sunk. As the story goes, Patrick “Eel” O’Brian was part of a gang until he is left for dead by them during a heist-gone-wrong, which left him soaked in an unknown chemical liquid. This results in him gaining the power of elasticity (like Fantastic Four’s Mr. Fantastic or The Incredibles’ Elastigirl), along with regeneration, invulnerability and slow aging. O’Brian becomes a police officer in between his superhero antics.
The comic book character is well-loved for his silly demeanor and tendency to provide the Justice League with comedic relief. Ben Schwartz has famously been fan-casted in the role, who has championed his interest in the character too, calling its potential at the likes of Deadpool’s maximum effort. Marlon Wayans also threw his hand out in interest of taking on the role last year.
This development will almost certainly have fans firing back at Warner Bros for the female-led pivot, especially since The Hollywood Reporter story does not offer much context about what the vision is for the project. There’s a lot different ways DC could introduce the hero, but gender-swapping the character when Plastic Man has never once been a woman in the comics might lead to failure in terms of alienating its fanbase. As mentioned, my gut here is Plastic Man would have to be in a Plastic Man movie, but perhaps the framing of the film will be shifted.
The superhero genre has become a saturated space, and studios have been experimenting with new ways to make use of their properties outside of the typical comic book hero origin story. We’ll keep you posted here on CinemaBlend about further development for the Plastic Man movie. Until then, check out what’s coming next with our breakdown of the DC film slate.