In June 2012, it was announced that Barry Sonnenfeld, the director who brought us The Addams Family, Men in black, Shrink and one of my favorites, The tick starring Patrick Warburton, is finally starting in the long-awaited Metal men film based on DC Comics.
The story centers on William Magnus, an artificial intelligence expert who creates six different cyborgs, each made from a different metal on the periodic table. Gold is the leader and can stretch its shape in infinite ways. Iron is the muscle of the group and lead protects the group from radiation. Mercury can melt and slide into the smallest spaces, Platinum (also called “Tina”), the only woman who believed she was a real woman and was in love with her creator, could stretch or flatten her shape, and Tin is the Insecure and self-doubting cyborg, the group’s personalities mirrored the metals of the same name, dictated by devices called “responsometers.”
Talking with ComicBookMovie.com, Barry Sonnenfeld says, “You know, it’s funny because I’m developing Metal Men with Warner Bros. We’re actively working on a treatment for that. For me, it’s not so much a superhero thing as world-building.”
“If you look at the work I’ve done, either The Addams Family, Men in black, Raising mallow, Schmigadoon!, or A series of unfortunate events, it is about creating a world. A different world, unusual, slightly out of place, peculiar; that’s what i love to do. Not specifically, necessarily a superhero, but even in Metal men, which I am developing, it will be a very specific kind of world. It’s a real world because I always like things to be based on reality, but slightly slanted to that. It all started with The Addams Family which is real but a bit pushed. “
With success Barry sonnenfeld he has found in the peculiar long-form episodic narrative that builds a world, a series would give him and the story room to stretch their legs. Schmigadoon!, The tick, Raising mallow, and of course, A series of unfortunate events which was a Netflix hit for years, are great examples of what Sonnenfeld could do in the world of Dc comics.
How about a world where a couple on a backpacking trip discover a magical town where everyone acts like they’re in a 1940s musical? Schmigadoon !, with a cast of comedians and musicians such as Cecily Strong, Keegan-Michael Key, Fred Armison, Kristin Chenoweth, and Alan Cumming is a perfect example.
While only two seasons of Raising mallow were made, fans were devastated to see him go. Peculiar world, you say? What if Lee Pace plays a pastry chef with the power to bring the dead back to life, solves murder mysteries with his resurrected childhood sweetheart, a cynical private investigator, and a crushing waitress? There you go!
And I can’t recommend The tick enough. Ben Edlund, the creator of the comic, described the series as “closer in tone to the comic, favoring character over action, painting a superhero portrait of genuine human limp.” The show had comic book and series fans lining up for guest stars, including Ron Perlman, Christopher Lloyd, Kurt Fuller, Armin Shimerman, and Dave Foley. Superhero experience!