Pitch Meeting: Non-Superhero Comic Book Movies

Currently, movies based on comic book superheroes are all the rage. But there’s more to the medium of comic books than just the cape-and-cowl set. This is a place for people to pitch movie ideas based on non-superhero comics that they think would do wonders on the big screen.

My pitch? Spy vs. Spy.

Of course, you’d have to radically expand on the comics and add plenty of original content to make it work as a movie. Feature films tend to require things like plot, dialogue, and characters who can be distinguished by something other than the color of their clothes. But as long as the movie focuses on two spies from opposing factions trying to kill each other with wacky, Wile E. Coyote-esque schemes, in what’s ultimately a pointless conflict? Then I’d say you’ve got the spirit of the comic down pat.

I’m envisioning a period piece set in the late 80’s. Between The Americans, Atomic Blonde, and a few other properties, stories of Cold War espionage in the 80’s seem to be in vogue right now. Plus, having the spies fighting the Cold War just a few short years before it ends adds to the “pointless conflict” thing I mentioned above.

I figure the movie could take place largely in a small, fictional country that’s recently deposed a dictator, and spies from the U.S. and U.S.S.R. have been dispatched to manipulate the new government into allying itself with their respective nations. However, the spies are old enemies, and keep getting distracted from their official mission, instead repeatedly trying to kill each other with various bits of slapstick violence. I’m thinking it would aim for the deliberately cartoony style of something like The Great Race.

You’d probably have to throw in a climax where the spies put their differences aside to achieve some sort of common good, but so long as in the epilogue they’re right back to staging ultra-elaborate plans to off each other, I’d say we’re good.

That’s my pitch for a non-superhero comic book movie. What are everyone else’s ideas?