By Jack Rico
As I was sitting in the second tier deck of the Water Cube Arena in Beijing, China watching history made as US Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps shattered all kinds of long standing swimming records, I couldn’t stop thinking how Phelps looks to me like a living, breathing human fish. His body moves in ways I never saw another human move under water.
The only thing that I could possibly compare him with was a super-hero of some sort, and that is when it hit me – ‘Namor The Sub-Mariner’! Phelps would be THE PERFECT lead actor for this project. Aquaman entered my mind, but he’s a bit too perky. Namor is dark, complex and overall just cooler. Now I know he has never acted, but can you see anyone better than him in the water? Obviously, producers will have to see what potential he has to bring to life the brooding character. Regardless of acting talent, simply on his name alone global curiosity will be sparked, in particular by legions of ladies worldwide. That to me spells box-office success!
Marvel owns the rights to the aquatic hero and as I understand it, two years ago, Universal Pictures announced that Johnathan Mostow was attached to rewrite and direct the film. Kevin Misher is producing through his Misher Films, along with Marvel Studios. There was a screenplay that had initially been written by David Self. Nothing else has been talked about the film since… until now. Look for Columbia or 20th century Fox to distribute the film since they have the know-how and track record in the super-hero genres.
Here is an EXCLUSIVE fan teaser poster that ShowBizCafe.com obtained today of Phelps as Namor.
By the way, did you know there was also a television show that was planned in the 50’s starring Richard Egan, unfortunately it never went into production. Similarly, a Sub-Mariner TV pilot was announced during the seventies but never filmed due to the similarities it had with another cancelled copycat show “The Man from Atlantis”. The idea of bringing Namor to TV isn’t a bad one. Look at Smallville. It is already going into its seventh season. They created an episode with Aquaman and were reportedly doing a spin-off with the character. I never heard from the project again.
I remember when we interviewed Jon Favreau for Iron Man, he mentioned how the armored one was the last of the iconic Marvel characters not be put on a live action film. To be quite frank Jon, what about Namor? I would have liked to have seen Namor first before Iron Man. The Sub-Mariner is just a bad ass. Look, I’m not going to lie, nor get my hopes up, Phelps could just bomb, eternally bomb, but if there was a once in a lifetime movie that he could pull off, wouldn’t it be this one!?
Would love to hear your comments on this and do you think there would be a better protagonist than Phelps?