Over the course of the weekend the BBC has posted up a new Captain Britain article, relating to the recent TV rumours. Full disclosure, I did give a phone interview to the author of the piece, Nic Rigby, a couple of weeks back, and while my comments haven't made it into the piece directly I suppose you could say I have a vested interest in this. :)
While there are a few minor errors here (The "Red Skull gang" or "Braddock Hall" rather than Manor) it is a far better researched article than tabloid pieces we saw during the initial flurry of interest in the Rumour. Most importantly Rigby has spoken to both Chris Claremont and also prospective Producer, Chris Lark.
Claremont describes Brian as always trying "to represent the ideal of Britain and its island heritage, like Robin Hood, but he must never lose sight of his humanity. He wants to do the right thing."
And on that I would very much agree. Trying to do the right thing. Sometimes to a fault. :)
But more interestingly Chris Claremont also proffers his opinion on casting the role for TV. The two actors he suggested being Tom Hiddleston and Idris Elba.
Of Hiddleston he says he "...could offer a physicality to the part yet pull off the human side of the role," but also "Who is to say Captain Britain would have to be white? We could have Idris Elba as Captain Britain."
The obvious drawback to both the suggestions however, is that both of these actors are already playing roles within Marvel's cinematic universe - Hiddleston rather iconically playing the trickster Loki and Elba playing Heimdall, the Guardian of the Rainbow Bridge. Both appearing in multiple Thor movies.
One thing I did say in conversation with Nic Rigby, though, was that I think the whole Captain Britain Corps concept lends itself to showing not one, but many facets of what Captain Britain can be. That potentially, through that, you can showcase the whole spectrum of British identity, as individual Captains from different worlds.
I mean, Brian Braddock himself is clearly a middle-class white guy, blonde, blue eyed and English. That's the guy who comic fans expect to see. That's your standard. But through showcasing other Captains (be those created anew or trying to use previously established ones) we can showcase a full spectrum of roles and aspects of the British psyche. Scottish Captains, Welsh Captains, Northern Irish Captains. Captains from different classes, different social backgrounds. Captains of different faiths and ethnic backgrounds.
There are so many different cultural sections of modern Britain. You could never fit them all into one individual. But as a team, as a Corps, there are many more options available there.
I still believe that we should be aiming for relatively close match the comics' Brian. Somebody of a similar age to the other major cinematic players (as I've said in the past, somebody like Jamie Bamber would probably be my pick) would be beneficial. But it depends on the approach taken from a TV point of view, I guess.
Most interestingly though, Nic Rigby has spoken to Chris Lark, the would be producer for the show. Which oddly, I don't think anybody else has done up to this point. I was certainly a little interested to know what his main connection to the character was.
Lark has said "I was first a fan of a fan of the X-Men comics and I read Excalibur magazine that all my friends were reading and it featured Captain Britain. And I wanted to find out more and more about Captain Britain and bought his solo series of comics".
And for American readers that is the typical experience. Excalibur was the route in, which (hopefully) would lead to hunting down other stories.
He describes Brian as, "He was not just a traditional hero like Captain America who runs around with his shield, he's much more interesting... He was a scientist that had these magical powers that he could not explain as a scientist. Like a lot of Marvel heroes, he is not all sunshine and happiness".
Well, that might ease the concerns a little of those worried that a US producer might not *get* the character of Captain Britain. At its very basics that would be a relatively strong overview of the character.
However, we are still talking in terms of "...looking to put the idea to Marvel early in 2017". There is no deal in place. Probably no meeting for that, as such. We'll have to wait and see if anything else comes from this.
Check the piece out. I always see the mark of a true story as being once the BBC get a hold of it. So, we've reached *that* point. Marvel Entertainment? It's over to you. :)