Jack Kirby’s Fourth World might be DC Comics’ most untapped intellectual property when it comes to TV and film adaptations.
Kirby’s entire Fourth World epic, and his New Gods in particular, are screaming for big screen adaptation. The first time I read New Gods, I noted how it felt like a blockbuster movie brought to the pages of a comic book. Perhaps George Lucas thought the same thing, as his Star Wars franchise may or may not be largely inspired from the comic.
On the DC Daily Drop Podcast, which I co-host, I recently made a rough pitch for a New Gods/Fourth World trilogy or series of films. I also had some basic ideas for how to tie it in to the 2017 Justice League film and the DCEU in general. You can listen to the podcast below. My co-host Zac also makes a compelling pitch for and Adam Strange movie.
What do you think? Could a New Gods film centered on Orion, Mister Miracle, Highfather and Darkseid be a success? Would it be too similar to Star Wars, which is so well-known in pop culture today?
Even though Kirby’s Fourth World stories were released years before Star Wars, many uneducated fans might find New Gods to be a rip-off of Star Wars. Of course, the entire Fourth World mythology is so rich that a film franchise could go in many potential directions.
A visionary director could take this concept and create an entire franchise around the Fourth World. Incorporating elements from New Gods, Mister Miracle, Forever People, and Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen could take a movie in numerous directions.
What is so impressive about Kirby’s work on these titles is how he is able to create such a massive mythology so quickly. There are so many big ideas an concepts that would translate so well to the movie screen. It’s not so hard to imagine the right creative team building something with the potential of the Lord of The Rings and Harry Potter franchises.
While a New Gods of Fourth World film doesn’t appear to be in DC/Warner Bros. immediate plans, there is a silver lining. The DCEU will be taking at least some inspiration from Kirby’s work.
We’ve already seen Apokolips’ Parademons in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The ultimate edition of that film also had a deleted scene that showed a projection of Steppenwolf, Darkseid’s uncle.
Kirby’s influence will be seen much more in the Zack Snyder’s Justice League film in 2017. During a recent interview, Snyder spoke about how the Fourth World will impact the movie:
Kirby’s crazy in a great way, and there’s a lot of influence, you know, the New Gods stuff, we were digging on that — and that’s the Mother Boxes and that sort of Apokoliptian world and all that. The kinda scope-y sci-fi cool, what I think is fun stuff. I think inherently when you start to talk about a bad guy that would justify the Justice League, you have to have a good threat that’s fun and kinda crazy. And the Mother Boxes are always fun, DC-weird tech, you know?
Steppenwolf, Darkseid, Parademons, Mother Boxes, and more? It sounds like Justice League will have a massive influence from New Gods and the rest of the Fourth World.
While it is exciting that the Fourth World will have a massive influence on the overall DCEU, I still think there is room for a separate film franchise. It can be connected to the Justice League characters, but there is so much potential.
The war between New Genesis and Apokolips can be an epic, blockbuster battle. While it will be awesome to see Darkseid battling Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and more, Fourth World fans know that Orion is Darkseid’s ultimate enemy.
Who knows? Maybe in an upcoming Justice League film, we will see Darkseid pushed through a boom tube back to Apokolips. This would allow Darkseid to be a long-term thorn in the side of many DC heroes. Then we can see an entire struggle between Orion and Darkseid, as Kirby intended.