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Barry Sonnenfeld Directing Comic Book Film ‘The Metal Men’ for Warner Bros.

Written by on June 21, 2012 

Right before Men in Black III came out — I’ve seen the film and kind of forgot it ever did, to be honest — Barry Sonnenfeld dropped the little hint that he and Warner Bros. could, under the right circumstances, tackle a comic book property “that hasn’t been around since the 60s.” Now, the list of “comic book properties owned by WB that haven’t been in circulation for more than 50 years” is, needless to say, not a very long one — yet all of our guesses were wrong.

Turns out it’s The Metal Men. Vulture has learned that Sonnenfeld and the studio are funneling efforts toward the oft-forgotten property, a series following “an artificial-intelligence expert named William Magnus who creates six cyborgs, each made from a distinct chemical element with talents reflecting their places in the periodic table.” Chemistry: Not just the basis of all physical material, but also the launch point for studio franchises.

Gold can expand like Mr. Fantastic; Iron is a brute; Mercury can melt and work his way into small spaces; the lone female, Platinum, is a robot capable of making herself wholly flat; and Lead, though given the backhanded description of “simpleton protector,” actually creates shields that block radiation. (Tin is, it seems, a part of the group, but is only described as “self-doubting and insecure.” Did Alan Moore do a run on the team?)

Massive financial destruction wrought by The Avengers was, make no bones about it, the big influence in making another ensemble superhero film — something Warner Bros. and DC must really have in mind, actually — though Metal Men, lacking name recognition, certainly isn’t a guaranteed smash. But I’m not worried about that; pessimism would, rather, stem from the involvement of Sonnenfeld, who I don’t think has made a legitimately good film in fifteen years. And, frankly, I don’t know if The Metal Men is the project to get him out of such a long rut.

Would you want to see what Sonnenfeld can do with The Metal Men?


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