Robert Kirkman is best known as the creator and writer of The Walking Dead, the popular zombie comics that he helped AMC turn into an even bigger smash television show. While we talk a lot about walking corpses, especially The Walking Dead, we have to admit that we’re pretty stoked to hear that Kirkman is taking a turn into harder, more straight up science fiction. There’s still the proposed Walking Dead spinoff in the works, but in the meantime, Kirkman is going turning his attention to the sci-fi thriller Air, and he’s bringing along a familiar face.
Heat Vision reports that, not being satisfied with ruling the airwaves, Kirkman is going to produce Air, with Norman Reedus and Djimon Hounsou in the headliner slots. Christian Cantamessa, who was the designer for videogames like Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas co-wrote the script with Chris Pasetto. The only other credit on Pasetto’s resume is a short called How I Survived the Zombie Apocalypse, but he is still going to make his directorial debut on what is said to be a very low-budget affair. Kirkman’s Skybound Entertainment, an ever growing little business, what with various comics and television programs in the works, will produce the picture, and Sony is already in negotiations to snap up the distribution rights.
Air takes place in a cryogenics facility which, being located underground, becomes a desirable sliver of real estate after nuclear fallout removes living on the surface of the planet as a viable option. There’s no explanation of how this happened yet, but I’m hoping for a good old fashioned, super power versus super power exchange of intercontinental ballistic missiles. Two janitors, Reedus and Hounsou, work in this facility, taking care of the frozen folks who are apparently intended to restart the human race and recreate civilization. The two “struggle to preserve their own sanity and lives while maintaining the extremely fragile environment of the last livable place on earth.”
That sounds like a promising premise, though it’s also reminiscent of the plot of Xavier Gens’ post-apocalyptic survivor tale The Divide. And for some reason I can’t stop picturing this as a broad slapstick comedy. I know it won’t be, but just imagine for a second, if you will. Hounsou and Reedus are a pair of wacky stoner buddies working a dead end job who just happen to be in the right place when the world ends. There is no limit to the possible shenanigans and mischief these guys can get into. You just know they’d dress up the frozen dudes for holidays, and if there isn’t some sort of dance scene, or musical montage featuring the human popsicles, that would be a tragic waste. Someone with more free time needs to write this script for me.
This is Reedus’ first higher profile role since he vaulted to stardom on The Walking Dead. Many fans of the zombie drama will agree that he’s the best character on the show—while others will argue that he’s the only good character—despite not even appearing in Kirkman’s comics. The next time we see Hounsou it will be made up to look like an awesome alien warrior in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which bombarded us with that fantastic trailer last night.