Comic Book Bad Guys That Need Movie Love: Solomon GrundyEditorial — By ecksmanfan on October 4, 2010 12:50 am
In the second installment in my ongoing editorial topic of comic book baddies who need to movie love, I’ll be discussing the one and only Solomon Grundy. Yeah, you read that right. So far, in Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, we have seen the Dark Knight take on more intellectual threats. I think it’s time for the Batman to take on more of a physical threat. In the many online forums, I have read most people discuss two main options: Bane, the man who “broke the bat” and the Killer Croc. We’ve seen bane before in the sickeningly bad Joel Schumacher directer Batman & Robin, so to try and reinvent the character and have him taken seriously would be quite difficult. As for Killer Croc, my feeling is that he is just a bit too fantastical for the “Nolan-verse” of Batman.
So what about Grundy? Here’s a bit of history on the brute from the swamps:
In the late 19th century, a wealthy merchant named Cyrus Gold is murderd and his body disposed of in Slaughter Swamp, near Gotham City. Fifty years later, the corpse is reanimated as a huge shambling figure with almost no memory of its past life. Gold murders two escaped criminals who are hiding out in the marsh and steals their clothes. He shows up in a hobo camp and, when asked about his name, one of the few things he can recall is that he was “born on a Monday”. One of the men at the camp mentions the nursery rhyme character Solomon Grundy (who was born on a Monday), and Gold adopts the moniker.
When I bring this idea up to people, may think I’m nuts and that the idea would never work. Here’s what I had in mind for the character. Imagine if you have another, more prominent villain in the film, someone like Black Mask. Many of you know that Black Mask is the head of a major crime syndicate in Gotham, which plays really well with the previous two Batman films. Every crime boss needs a thug to head his minions and take care of all the dirty work. Enter Solomon Grundy. Most people know Grundy as a mindless strong man who’s only purpose is to break things and people. But if you add in the element of intelligence, you have yourself a formidable foe. I can picture a mid-film battle between Batman (Christian Bale) and Grundy, played by someone like Kevin Durand or Tyler Mane. In the currant film run, Batman has not met the likes of an enemy who is bigger and stronger than himself and it would be awesome to finally see him take on somebody of this ilk.
What about the “too fantastical” argument I brought up with Killer Croc you ask? Well, of all the more physical threats that the Batman has faced, Solomon Grundy could be the one who could be grounded to fit in the more realistic Nolan films. You wouldn’t have to remove the “undead” element from the character, but an explanation of his background could easily move on from the idea.
So will we ever see someone along the lines of Solomon Grundy in the Nolan films? Probably not, but I would be thrilled beyond belief to see it happen and I think Christopher Nolan is the director that could actually make it work. So, Mr. Nolan, if you are reading this….Pretty please?!