Spike Lee is reportedly in talks to direct a superhero movie for Sony based on Marvel Comics character Nightwatch. The film would be part of their expanding Spider-Man-based series of movies, joining ‘Venom’ and ‘Silver & Black’, as well as a ‘Morbius, the Living Vampire’ movie that is in the works. Like those movies, ‘Nightwatch’ would not connect to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and may or may not even connect to ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’. (The jury’s still out on whether or not Tom Holland will appear in ‘Venom’.) The script for ‘Nightwatch’ comes from Cheo Hodari Coker, the showrunner of Netflix’s ‘Luke Cage’ series.
The character Nightwatch debuted in the pages of ‘Web of Spider-Man’ #97 before spinning off into his own series. Nightwatch is the alter ego of African American scientist Kevin Trench, who was a supervillain known as Nighteater, who altered history to make himself more heroic. He witnesses a costumed figure killed in action while battling terrorists. When he unmasked the hero, he discovered it was an older version of himself (time travel was involved). He stripped the costume from the corpse’s body and donned it himself (ewwwwwwww!) and used it to embark on a crime fighting career.
As you can tell by the artwork, Nightwatch bears a striking resemblance to Image Comics’ Spawn, another African American hero, who was created by famed former Spider-Man artist Todd McFarlane. Apparently, someone at Marvel saw Spawn as being a Spider-Man ripoff and decided to return the favor by ripping off Spawn. So Nightwatch is a ripoff of a ripoff.
Spawn is known for his huge fluttering cape. Nightwatch’s cape is actually part of his powers and can move on its own and allows him to fly. The rest of his suit is made up of nanites and grants him the ho-hum abilities of super strength and endurance.
Lee has recently worked with Netflix, directing Roger Guenveur Smith’s one-man show ‘Rodney King’ and releasing his acclaimed romantic drama series ‘She’s Gotta Have It’. He recently released the low-budget drama ‘Pass Over’ and is currently filming the true story biopic ‘Black Klansman’. Though an acclaimed filmmaker with decades of work under his belt, Lee has never made a big budget tentpole flick. Could this be his first?
Now that ‘Black Panther’ had slashed through the glass ceiling and proven that a black superhero can carry a blockbuster movie, does that pave the way for an obscure character like ‘Nightwatch’?
Stay tuned for more information as it surfaces.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter