Top Nine Movies You Probably Didn’t Know Were Based On Comic Books


Comic books

Comic book adaptations seem to be the heavy hitters in Hollywood these days. Everyone is trying to come up with their own superhero movies based on comic books. With  the success of movies like, Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America, The Dark Knight trilogy, and the likes, it is no surprise that everyone wants a piece of the “comic book cake”.

So, I came across this interesting article on Screenrant about some of the movies that were based on comic books, but most people probably did not know they were.

So in no particular order, here they are:


1. Timecop may seem like a predictable sci-fi adventure for Jean-Claude Van Damme, fusing the martial arts and gunplay of the 1990s with a science fiction story of ‘time enforcement officers,’ but it actually began its life two years before the film, as a story told in the pages of Dark Horse Comics. Focusing instead on a runaway robot wreaking havoc in time, it spawned the film, additional tie-in comics, a TV show and a video game.


2. The adaptation from comic book or graphic novel to live-action film isn’t always a predictable one – a fact proven by Joseph Kosinski (TRON Legacy) as he worked to build his original story Oblivion into a feature film. As the director began developing a breathtaking ‘graphic novel’ with Radical Comics based on his story pitch, it became clear there was something odd about the project – something Kosinski clarified to Empire once the film was released:

“The writers’ strike occurred in 2007 so I had a treatment for a film but I had no way to actually write it. It couldn’t be written by anyone in the guild so the partnership with Radical Comics allowed me to continue working on the story by developing a series of images and continuing to refine the story more over a period of years. Then I basically used all that development as a pitch kit to the studio. So even though we really never released it as an illustrated novel the story is being told as a film, which was always the intention.”

The Smurfs

3. It’s safe to assume that everyone reading this has at least heard of The Smurfs, even if their animated adventures on the big or small screen were less than a hit with certain demographics. The worldwide omnipresence of the small, blue-skinned creatures makes it hard to believe they began their life as ‘Les Schtroumpfs,’  a creation of the Belgian comic artist Peyo. According to Peyo, their name and language was the result of his friend forgetting the French word for ‘salt’ at lunch, requesting he ‘pass the… schtroumpf.” Peyo replied: “Here’s the Schtroumpf—when you’re done schtroumpfing, schtroumpf it back,” and the rest is history.

Alien vs Predator

4. Some might have rolled their eyes at the notion of combining the titular villains of the Alien and Predator film series, but the comic crossover upon which the film (now film series) handled both creatures’ mythology surprisingly well. The big screen adaptation turned out to be a predictable B-movie, but the comic set the events clearly in the world of Ridley Scott’s Alien, following a new human colony on an alien planet. When Xenomorph eggs arrive to supply a hunt for the Predator clans, only one human ends up surviving, living on the planet alone, eagerly awaiting the return of their Predator kin – and the start of the next hunt.


5. It’s nearly impossible these days to remain ignorant to the ginger orphan Annie, or her unwavering belief in just what “Tomorrow” may bring. Most modern moviegoers may have more personal experience with the recent Annie remake placing Quvenzhane Wallis in the title role, with the songs scattered throughout reminding viewers that the film is an adaptation of the musical – based on Harold Gray’s “Little Orphan Annie” comic strip – itselfloosely based upon the 1885 poem “Little Orphant Annie” by James Whitcomb Riley.

2 Guns

6. Given the recent film choices of Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, it made sense to see the two action stars join forces for 2 Guns, a story in which both men were secretly working undercover for government agencies – Washington’s ‘Trench’ a DEA Agent, and Wahlberg’s ‘Stigman’ working for Naval Intelligence. The film itself was a surprisingly satisfying shoot-em-up, but fans may be even more surprised to know that the story was based on a graphic novel of the same name by Steven Grant and Mat Santolouco. Not every comic adaptation must be a blockbuster.

Men in Black

7. The Men in Black series is best known for helping propel Will Smith into Hollywood superstardom, pairing him with Tommy Lee Jones as members of a shadowy organization tasked with monitoring (and, if need, eliminating) alien activity on Earth. The original comic created by Lowell Cunningham was nowhere near as successful, running for just ten issues – under three different publishers (including Marvel). Unlike the film, the original comic’s ‘men in black’ were tasked with all paranormal supervision: including demons, zombies, mutants, and other mythological creatures.

The Mask

8. There was a time when Jim Carrey’s most eccentric humor and behavior went entirely unchecked, to the delight of audiences – with no better example than The Mask (1994). A magical mask that heightened the traits of its subject (and rendered them invincible) was actually the idea of Mike Richardson, eventual founder of Dark Horse Comics. The concept would be refined into a standalone comic series, with the mask itself passed around to multiple DC Comics characters – including The Joker.


9. Some casual moviegoers might have looked at Wanted – a film in which James McAvoy is recruited by Angelina Jolie to join a cryptic order of assassins – and simply assumed its plot could only be dreamt up in a comic book. Unfortunately, the film bore little resemblance to Mark Millar’s (Kick-AssKingsman) original series. In the comic version, the ‘hero’ Wesley discovered comic book superheroes had once been real, before their villains joined forces and wiped them off the planet – with his father among them. Nods to a defeated Superman and Batman threw winks to readers, but all movie audiences got were inexplicably curving bullets.


Are there any other movie, you know that were adapted from comic books that weren’t mentioned here, please feel free to make them known in the comment box.


This article was culled from Screenrant.