Following the announcement of Netflix acciquring the film rights to Rob Liefeld’s EXTREME UNIVERSE, we sat down with Rob Liefeld to discuss Netflix’s acciquistion of the Extreme Universe:
What was it that made Netflix very appealing to create live-action projects based on the Extreme Universe?
“The answer begins and ends with Netflix itself. Netflix is leading the future with its streaming platform. My entire family, our friends, they are on Netflix constantly. I am a huge fan of all they’ve accomplished and their original programming apppeals to me in a way that few others compete for my attention in recent years. Altered Carbon blew me away, Bright was a blast. Mute, Stranger Things, Ozark, Daredevil, so much great entertainment that is a remote control away. To be a part of this network and the reach they have is a thrill and perfect to connect audiences new and old to my characters.”
How do you think that these upcoming film projects of the Extreme Universe will be different & unique to say your typical Marvel/DC film?
“For 33 years, my brand has always stood out, generating its own excitement. Whether it was when I was shaking up New Mutants en route to creating new icons in the X-Force stable with Cable, Deadpool, Domino and the rest or when I powered The Avengers to their best sales ever, I have a distinct approach and style that is reflected in my execution and it’s one that fans have been drawn to for 30 plus years. We are in no way looking to replicate what Marvel and DC do, our characters have different agendas and relations that we will be exploring. Cabbot Stone, team leader of Bloodstrike and John Stone, team leader of Brigade are akin to the Cain and Abel of our universe, two brothers with very different outlooks, and divergent world views, and considerable machines behind both of them with which to wage their personal wars. That kind of family tension is unique to Extreme and the moral struggle throughout the Extreme Universe is something that will set these characters apart.
My lead character in RE:GEX, Scarab is literally based on the transformation of Saul to Paul in the New Testemant, from persecutor to redeemer, with a tad more desperation with a ticking clock as a corporation looks to exploit his people. My inspiration has always pulled from various sources outside comics, taken classic conflicts and dressed them up with sci-fi and fantasy dressings.”
Akiva Goldsman has also been tasked with establishing the writers room for the Extreme Universe Films, How has it been like collaborating with him on this to make it a possibility?
“I love Akiva. He is a deep well of knowledge. I have so much respect for all of his accomplishments from his obvious award winning writing accolades to his numerous producing achievements from Fringe, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, I Am Legend, and more recently Star Trek: Discovery and upcoming Teen Titans. He’s written academy award winning films, won academy awards, directed and produced so much filmed entertainment, he covers all the bases.
When I met Akiva at his offices, when I entered his space, there was a statue of my Dove, Dawn Granger, who I co-created with Karl Kesel and Barabara Randal, on the table, so I felt very much at home. He expressed his favor for Hawk and Dove, the book that launched my career. This was early 2016, his enthusiasm for Titans was infectious and I’m so happy it has come together the way it has. He pitches me his take on Extreme as well as Avengelyne and we made an immediate connection. I’ve met many producers over the years who have no knowledge of comic book but want to jump into the pool because it’s something they feel they should be apart of, my bullshit detector is high and Akiva has been genuine throughout. Our Avengelyne film at Paramount is really sharp, the writer and the vision of the character is exciting. Avengelyne was always a fish out of water, but Wonder Woman did that so exceptionally we couldn’t retread the same ground and we don’t. Again, I’m really enjoying our collaborations building these works for film and streaming.”
Is there any character personally in the Extreme Universe that you’d like to see get an adaption from Netflix?
“I’m getting all of them that I desired, I’m thrilled for the entire lot. There are plenty of worlds and dimensions to cover in Extreme.”