Marvel’s Latest is a Man-Thing

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Artisan Ent.’s feature film adaptation of Marvel’s Man-Thing comic book character has been fast-tracked. The co-production between Marvel Studios and Fierce Ent. has reportedly wrapped principal photography in Sydney and is slated for an Aug. 27, 2004 theatrical debut.

The film will employ a combination of CG and mechanical effects by Rising Sun, and make-up and prosthetics work by the Make-Up Effects Group to tell the story of a mindless, vengeful swamp creature living in the Florida Everglades. Brett Leonard (T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous) directs from a script by Hans Rodionoff. Early reports on the screenplay say it is inspired by the story "Cry of the Native," which appeared in Marvel’s Fear #16 in 1973. In the story, a real estate tycoon runs into much more than opposition from the local Seminole Indians as he tries to drain parts of the Everglades to make way for a new airport.

While Marvel’s Spider-Man landed Toby Maguire and its Daredevil starred Ben Affleck, don’t look for big-name stars in Man-Thing. Jack Thompson, Rawiri Paratene, Matt Le Nevez, Rachel Taylor and Steve Bastoni make up the principal cast.

Also making Man-Thing unlike other Marvel big-screen ventures is its emphasis on horror rather than man-in-tights superheroics.

The Man-Thing character appeared in various Marvel Comics titles beginning with Savage Tales #1, published in May of 1971. Similarities have been drawn between the character and DC Comics’ Swamp Thing, which has been the subject of two films and a syndicated TV series. By all accounts, both swamp dwellers first appeared in print at roughly the same time and were both inspired by Golden Age’s The Heap from 1942.