It has been reported that Cloverfield
producer and Star Trek
director J. J. Abrams is in negotiations to take charge of a big screen adaptation of The Micronauts
, derived from a 1970s Japanese toy line which subsequently spawned an accompanying Marvel Comics title. If the story is true and the project does indeed go into development, then Abrams will be working with one of the more esoteric properties to have passed through the Marvel Bullpen in the late 70s and early 80s.
Launched in Japan as the Micromen in 1974, the toy line was rebranded as the Micronauts for its US debut two years later. Marvel launched their initial comic book version in 1979, penned by Bill Mantlo, and a Chris Claremont-scripted X-Men/Micronauts
crossover miniseries followed. Writer Peter B. Gillis rebooted the series as The New Voyages
to very good - albeit short-lived - effect in the 80s, and different editions of the comic have periodically surfaced since, in the hands of various different publishing houses.
Although the cast have regularly been rotated, the essential premise of The Mi
cronauts has remained fairly constant; if someone is shrunk beyond the point of nothingness, to a minus mass, then they slip from the corporeal everyday world into a far-out sub-atomic dimension called the Microverse. In which the roaming adventurers, the Micronauts, do battle against the tyranny of the nefarious Baron Kazar, with his usefully detachable hands and onyx body armour. The team were generally an eclectic collective, with the New Voyages
line-up including the orange, malleable Huntarr, green-skinned Bug who punctuated all his sentences with a “tik” noise, robotic duo Biotron and Microtron, and fairly non-descript human characters Arcturus Ran and Marionette. Most striking of all was Acroyear - probably one of the most phallic superheroes ever conceived, with his domed, purple head hidden under his massive red helmet.
Certainly no shortage of zany concepts and crazy characters for Abrams to play with, eh? But is the project likely to be a go-er? Well, the news of the Lost
head honcho’s involvement with the ’nauts seems to have emerged in unusual fashion, having been mentioned in passing in a more general Wall Street Journal
piece about Hollywood’s increasing predilection for basing its blockbuster fare on pre-existing toy lines (this year’s summer season having correspondingly delivered Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen
and G. I. Joe
unto us, in the manner of a pair of headache-inducing Biblical plagues). However if Abrams really does set to work on a Micronauts
movie, then – in the wake of Daft Punk’s engagement to score the Tron
sequel – the music should take care of itself, with French dance act the Micronauts surely in prime position to land the gig.
Sources: Dark Horizons
, Wall Street Journal