The Dangers of Making a Danger Girl Movie

Danger Girl

If you’ve never heard of Danger Girl, you’re probably not alone.  Which is why it comes as something of a surprise that the Los Angeles Times revealed today, through an interview with producer Adrian Askarieh, that the Wildstorm comic property is being developed into a movie.  Though when you think about it, what won’t Hollywood turn into a movie? So far the only answer is pachinko.

Danger Girl is the brain child of super comic artist J. Scott Campbell, well known for his work on the covers of The Amazing Spider-Man and for drawing insanely hot women with big eyes and bigger busts.  Once you’ve seen his style, you’re able to pick it out without a problem.  He was dominant artist in my golden era of comic book buying and I loved his style, and only partially because I was a pervert who liked the way he drew boobies.

His foray into writing was Danger Girl, an action comic that followed Abbey Chase, a super hot female version of Indiana Jones if you added in some deadly martial arts and a fondness for firearms.  Ms. Chase soon found herself tangled up with the Danger Girls, an international group of hottie espionage agents.  Imagine Bond girls if, instead of just being hot with silly names, they were also super spies.  The tone of Danger Girl was comedic, a wink and a nod to the genre of spy flicks, and though filled with dangerous situations, there was always a chance for one, or more, of the girls to disrobe and be covered only by some well placed bubbles in a bath.

If you’re wondering why this news caught me by surprise, it’s simple – the comic doesn’t have a long history.  I used to read them and read about ten issues.  From what I can find now, there have only ever been about 25 issues ever.  The comic received praise and attention mostly for it’s art, which leaves a movie in a weird place – do you stay faithful to the comics or change it up?  I think with this property the actual risk of alienating the readership is acceptable, simply because they’re not that rabid or prevalent.

What would a fan want?  Lots of beautiful women, lots of action, and plenty of campy spy humor.  That sounds familiar.  It sounds like… V.I.P.  Yes, the Pamela Anderson TV show about three bad ass hot women, full of campy humor, that saw them working as bodyguards.  Here is where my hesitation begins.  This idea has been tried on celluloid with craptastic results.  You’ve got the V.I.P. show or the jumbled mess of Bitch Slap that seek to play up the sex appeal and just end up feeling like a failed Showtime skin flick.

Producer Askarieh says the film will be a “hyper-stylized, hyper-action action film, but with a heart and with characters you care about,” and talks about using technology similar to James Cameron’s Avatar to make the movie.  He’s tight lipped on what this actually means – will the film be animated?  Motion captured?  CGI?  Will the backgrounds be fake?  Don’t know.  In terms of tone, Askarieh also says “we are taking these characters very seriously; a kind of Batman Begins approach, if you will.”

Personally, I’m not sure how you can take a woman who wears spandex pants and half shirts, team her up with a leather clad assassin with exposed cleavage and toss a hot blonde wearing some sort of fishnet shirt and make it like Batman Begins. Just visually, Danger Girl is kind of too funny to be given the dark treatment, if you want to be faithful.

So, as an expert on action and hot women (I have a degree) what is it going to take to make this film work as a Danger Girl flick and not just Tomb Raider 3?  I’ve got some ideas.

  • Sex appeal. That was the selling point of the comic and if you get rid of the sexy costumes and overly sexual vibe, you’re getting rid of the best part.
  • Smart Spoofing. J. Scott Campbell did a good job sending up the spy film.  This needs to have that same wink and nod to the audience.
  • Good Actors. The difference between a successful wink and nod (Leslie Nielsen) and a terrible one (any _______ Movie actor) is having a decent actor deliver the line without sounding like an idiot.  Sure, it’s going to be easy to cast Denise Richards in this, but after watching The World is Not Enough you need to know she might not be the best choice.
  • Major Maxim. A gigantic super-Nazi type character.  You can’t go wrong with having a red-eyed Nazi bastard as your enemy.
  • The Right Tone. This is going to be the hardest aspect.  If you go too dark, the idea of a bunch of sexy girls is going to seem ridiculous and stupid.  If you go too light, you get a Pamela Anderson sequel.  The movie is going to have to mix laughs with action, sex with violence, and darkness with camp.

When I first read the Times piece, I thought it was a bad idea.  All I could see was Angelina Jolie (who should NOT, NOT, NOT be cast in this film) and Tomb Raider mixed with V.I.P. I’m sure you can understand my hesitation.  But as I wrote and flipped through pictures of the Danger Girls, I realized I was being an idiot.  Why wouldn’t I want a hyper-stylized action film full of hot chicks and dudes dressed like Nazis and ninjas?

This will be a hard property to do correctly on the big screen, but if they get it right with the correct balance of hardcore action and beautiful babes providing laughs, it could be a sexy, awesome, explosive time.  Count me, hesitantly, in.

Have you read Danger Girl comics?  What do you think of a movie adaptation?

Robert Fure is many things: horror expert, ruggedly handsome man of the world, witty prose composer, and writer of his own biography page. Beneath the bravado is a scared little boy, ready to grow into an awesome man and make lies about a scared little boy inside of him. Wait a minute...

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