Did ‘Supermax’ Derail ‘Super Max’?

GreenArrowBeing the geek that I am I’ve been keeping a close eye on the slowly developing Green Arrow film, Super Max. Written by David Goyer (Blade, The Dark Knight), the film is not your average comic book fair. Instead of following the typical origin tale, Super Max plans to take super hero Green Arrow and drop him in a “super max” prison full of villains (many of which he probably put there). Wrongfully convicted, Green Arrow would be forced to work alongside his enemies to escape while trying not to unleash the rest of the villains in the process.  Think Prison Break meets Justice League.

Well, you can imagine my dismay when I read today that Columbia Pictures picked up the rights to spec horror script, Supermax by writers Mitch Rouse and Christopher Nelson. Yes, you read that right, two films with the same name (minus the space of course). Worse yet, the similarities don’t end with the name:

“The script [Supermax], a horror/action combo about a supernatural prison, ‘centers on a skilled guard who is re-assigned to Supermax. After a riot erupts, he must join forces with one of the prison’s monstrous inmates in order to survive and fight his way out.'”

What!?  “Supernatural prison”?  If said “skilled guard” ends up with any variation of Oliver, Ollie, or Jonas for a first name my head may explode (that’s the name of Green Arrow for those who don’t know). I almost get the sense somebody out there heard about Super Max and decided to strip out all the DC content (along with that space in the title) and write Supermax.  Unbelievable.

All that ranting side, Super Max and Supermax both could be pretty cool films. Now we just have to wait and see who gets to the finish line first, claiming the Super Max/Supermax title. Sure, they could both use their respective names but in a world where branding is everything can a studio really afford to confuse the consumer? At this point I’m pulling for Super Max because I really want the DC characters to get to the big screen and I’m a David Goyer fanboy. No release date for either film at this point but the race is on and we’ll keep you posted.

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