In June 2012, it was announced that Barry Sonnenfeld, the director who brought us The Addams family, Men in black, Get Shorty and one of my favorites, the tick starring Patrick Warburton, finally begins the long-awaited Metal Men movie based on the DC Comics.
The story revolves around William Magnus, an artificial intelligence expert who creates six different cyborgs, each made of 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 in the tiniest of spaces, Platinum (aka “Tina”), the only woman who believed she was a real woman and in love with her creator, could stretch or flatten her shape, and Tin is the self-doubting and insecure cyborg, the group’s personalities reflected their namesake metals, dictated by devices called “responsometers.”
Speaking to 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. Building.”
“If you look at the work I’ve done, whether it’s… The Addams family, Men in black, push daisies, schmigadoon!, or A series of unfortunate events, it’s all about creating a world. An unusual, somewhat strange, quirky, different kind of world; that’s what I like to do. It’s not specifically, necessarily a superhero, but even in Metal Men, that I’m developing, it’s going to be a very specific kind of world. It’s a real world because I always like things to be based on reality, but kind of with a tendency to do so. It all started with The Addams family That’s both real, but kind of pushed.”
With the success Barry Sonnenfeld has found in the idiosyncratic, world-shaping long form of episodic storytelling, a series would give him and the story room to stretch their legs. schmigadoon!, the tick, push daisies, and of course, A series of unfortunate events which was a Netflix hit for years are all 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 city where everyone acts like they’re in a 1940s musical? Schmigadoon!, featuring a cast of comedy and musical heavy hitters including Cecily Strong, Keegan-Michael Key, Fred Armison, Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming is a perfect example.
While only two seasons of push daisies were made, fans were devastated to see it go. Quirky world, you say? How about Lee Pace starring as a pastry chef with the power to bring dead people back to life, solving murder mysteries with his childhood sweetheart resurrected, a cynical private detective, and a waitress in love. There you go!
And I can’t recommend it the tick enough. Ben Edlund, the comic’s creator, described the series as “the tone of the comic book, choosing character over action, painting a superhero portrait of real human lameness.” The show had fans of the comic and the series lining up for guest starring roles, including Ron Perlman, Christopher Lloyd, Kurt Fuller, Armin Shimerman, and Dave Foley. Superhero experience!