ADAPT THIS: 'King City' By Brandon Graham

King CityTHE STORY: "King City" by Brandon Graham (W/A) - Image Comics/Tokyopop

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: A 20-something, lock-picking adventurer named Joe returns to his home city of the future with unclear intentions and a kind-hearted friend named Pete who gets in over his head while agreeing to help some Mafiosos take care of a life-size sea-monkey girl they've been raising for illicit purposes.

Joe gets dragged back into the rough rackets of King City, all the while on a seeming collision course to rendezvous with his ex-girlfriend.

WHY IT WORKS: Graham's character Joe has all the stubbornness and energy of a Scott Pilgrim of the future, and the world he lives in is almost over-saturated with creatures and visual elements that give it a distinctive "Blade Runner"meets-"Animaniacs" vibe.

The real triumph of the series is how well Graham keeps his characters' personalities grounded in a completely haywire world that recalls the city of "Transmetropolitan" with a focus on silliness instead of political absurdity, but keeps real-world elements of crime, sex and young love intact.

WHY IT DOESN'T: The sasquatches and dinosaurs of "King City" work really well as cartoons, but translating them into live-action or computer-generated effects could be risky. Graham's pages are crammed with nuances and morsels of extra story detail from panel to panel, but fitting everything in to a film in a meaningful way would be nearly impossible.

HOW TO DO IT: Treat the project like "The Fifth Element" meets Kevin Smith's "Clerks" and a "King City" movie would generally be headed in the right direction. The story needs a young actor who can play a determined, cool-but-scruffy outsider, and someone like Jamie Campbell Bower of "New Moon" and "Sweeney Todd" might fit in well.

As for his sidekick Pete, who wears a goofy mask most of the time, someone a bit more geeky but who can pull off heroic moments like Clark Duke could be a great match, and "Men in Black" director Barry Sonnenfeld would be a fine choice to talk to about directing.

FINAL WORD: Humorous future-based sci-fi might be a challenge for theaters, but "King City" has a human heart underneath its action adolescent humor. The tone might actually be unique pick for Hollywood, though, and it would look like nothing else that's been out recently.

What do you think about our latest "Adapt This" selection? Let us know in the comment section or on Twitter!

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