According to The Hollywood Reporter, Michael Eisner and his Tornante Company have hired newcomer Mark Hammer (who is actually graduating college this very week) to pen a big-screen adaptation of “Bazooka Joe,” the simple little strip created in the 1950s solely to sell gum.
Admittedly, there’s more to go on than a movie based on Hasbro games and toys, since there was a cast of characters that included Joe, Pesty, Mort, Jane, Toughie, Walkie Talkie the dog, and Hungry Herman. They did have little adventures, though they consisted mostly of ways to make a kid-friendly pun in three tiny panels… and we never have learned exactly what hideous accident caused Joe to wear an eyepatch.
Eisner comes by Joe’s rights due to owning the trading card company Topps. It wouldn’t be the first movie developed from the company’s collectibles, as Tim Burton’s “Mars Attacks!” was inspired by the 1962 trading card series, as was the horrific “The Garbage Pail Kids Movie” in 1987. In a world where Tom Hanks is developing a Major Matt Mason movie and Ridley Scott plans to direct “Monopoly,” maybe we shouldn’t dismiss “Bazooka Joe” outright.
But wouldn’t Eisner have been better off looking to the Topps comic line instead of the panels of a gum wrapper?
Readers, do you think “Bazooka Joe” is worthy of his own movie? Or is this just a sign that Hollywood is really desperate for comic book movies?