The Evolution of an Idea
……….Back in 2009, superheroes were huge. The technology had evolved such that flying over cities and throwing trains around were now feasible and even cost-effective for smart, computer-savvy filmmakers. My previous attempts at high-budget special-effects laden stories went nowhere. The industry had advanced, though, and “high end” effects were nearly within reach.
……….Some interesting story deviations also appeared on screens. Mystery Men was Ben Stiller’s superhero-comedy, with its notable tagline: “We’re not the favorites. We’re not your classic heroes. We’re the other guys.”
……….The Watchmen film also surprised, bringing an epic, alternative modern history, new characters that flirted with parody, and a dark, twisted narrative that did not follow clichéd formulas.
……….A key idea formed the spine of my new story, which was also its original title: Rent-A-Hero. My story would explore the phenomenon of supernatural mercenaries, superpowers for hire. This was, naturally, an artistic response to the real-world mercenaries of Blackwater/Xe et al., who had rampaged across real nations with legal impunity, their murder sprees still winding through a deliberatley dysfunctional “justice” system. Injustice would be the theme of Rent-A-Hero.
……….The writing of the first draft was a blur, but it quickly morphed into DEMIGODS after I populated it with so many super-powerful characters. Some suggested old archetypes, but they needed modern twists. I then realized what could link them all together and provide cohesion, a controlling idea.
……….The theory of Dark Matter is interesting in that it allegedly provides most of the matter of the Universe, but no one has ever seen, touched or tasted it. It’s the elephant in the room, so they claim. The Dark Matter ocean would flow through our world everywhere, superimposed atop our reality. If some living creature could harness this dark connection, then its quantum “entanglement” would be a near-infinite source of power, its “Supernatural” property.
……….The DEMIGODS‘ story pieces were snapping together, but one key element was still missing. A tale about power naturally needs its opposite. Who is the most powerless character in our world, and why would this character repeatedly interact with the most potent, throughout an escalation of world-changing events? How could the relationship between the powerless and the powerful seem plausible, natural, and not tacked on by a puppet master?
……….DEMIGODS, the screenplay, has yet to launch itself at movie screens. But, with another evolution, from screenplay to novel, Demigods is out now everywhere through Indies United Publishing House LLC.
J. Giambrone is an author and filmmaker. His books include DEMIGODS, TRANSFIXION, Hell of a Deal: A Supernatural Satire, Wrecking Balls, and The Scousers (co-writer).