WHAT IT'S ABOUT: The remains of a caveman are discovered in a remote location and brought back to the United States for a museum exhibit. Meanwhile, aspiring artist Nathan Burling finds himself falling in love with Adrianna, a 24-year-old employee of the same museum that's about to host the caveman exhibit—but a previous heartbreak in his enigmatic past prevents him from fully accepting a good thing when he sees it.
The story of Nathan and Adrianna's developing romance unfolds concurrently with a look back upon the caveman's life and the similar events that led to his death.
WHY IT WORKS: What "Nathan the Caveman" lacks in name recognition is more than made up for in its true-to-life portrayal of a young creative mind rediscovering love and passion. This isn't a classic superhero bash-'em-up type of story—though there are a couple of action sequences to scratch that itch—but the well-written dialogue between Nathan, Adrianna and the story's remaining characters rings entirely true.
At the same time, "Nathan" boasts an interesting dynamic in the form of the caveman's flashbacks. These scenes show that history has a tendency to repeat itself, even in the earliest of times. While the graphic novel remains a standard black-and-white story, the caveman's tale could be told in a very visceral way on film. Such a style would provide the audience with both an emotional and visual journey into the world of romance and self-discovery.
WHY IT DOESN'T: Of course, "Nathan the Caveman" is largely unknown at this point. Writer-artist Ben Bishop self-published the graphic novel, and while such a move presumably means that the creator could develop "Nathan" to film in any way he sees fit, he's also at a disadvantage when it comes to having a significant corporation backing the book from the get-go.
Additionally, the comic book market is definitely booming on the big screen, but that tends to be specific to the superhero genre. Even R-rated fare such as "Watchmen" didn't perform nearly as well as most had hoped. "Nathan" isn't exactly a similarly vulgar tale, but the fact that it explores mature themes while sticking pretty closely to reality could cause it some problems when it comes to finding a big audience.
BOTTOM LINE: Those aforementioned problems are rather small when compared to the potential of "Nathan the Caveman." The comic book's trailer already demonstrates just how powerful this story of love and history could be if committed to film reel. Sure, "Nathan" doesn't have capes or superpowers, but it has a whole lot of heart and a story that anyone who has ever fallen in love can fully sympathize with.
In my opinion, "Nathan the Caveman" is the exact type of comic book project that should find its way into movie theaters.
Have you read "Nathan the Caveman" before, and do you think it'd make for a good film? Let us know what you think in the comments section or on Twitter!