By Erin Free

WHAT’S IT ABOUT? A rollerskating disco diva with the power to convert sound vibrations into light and energy beams, Marvel’s singing superhero, Dazzler, first appeared in Uncanny X-Men # 130 in 1980, and quickly announced herself as one of the comic book giant’s most unusual properties. Dazzler had in fact been created – by a committee of Marvel staff, including writer/editor, Tom DeFalco, illustrator, John Romita Jr., and editor-in-chief, Jim Shooter – to serve as bait for a record company, with the idea being that Marvel would publish comics featuring the character, and the record company would produce and market music using studio musicians, as was famously done with The Archies. Though something of a disreputable character in the comic book world (a cheesy, opportunistic, and ill-conceived movie was nearly mounted with Bo Derek in the lead role in the early eighties), the mutant Dazzler has appeared in a number of incarnations (crossing paths with Marvel’s biggest names, including Spider-Man and The Avengers), but remains an always fascinating superhero, forced to deal with everyday issues of the heart while also battling super villains and weighing up the price of fame.

WHY WOULD IT MAKE A GOOD MOVIE? While it would be a massive gamble, a Dazzler movie could also be truly extraordinary: an eighties-set superhero disco musical action adventure. In short, it would either be a lightning-strike winner, or the absolute worst superhero flick ever made. And what’s wrong with a potentially destructive gamble every once in a while? Officially part of the X-Men contract which currently resides with 20th Century Fox, Dazzler could possibly tie in to that franchise’s increasingly complex timeline, even crossing over with the equally idiosyncratic Deadpool, with whom she has surprisingly rocked in the comic book world. Dazzler could also be aimed at a wholly different audience, with the character’s music star status and complex emotional makeup a potential tempter for the often-ignored-by-superhero-movies female demographic, without being too obvious or formulaic.

Blake Lively, Lady Gaga, Abigail Breslin, Michiel Huisman
Blake Lively, Lady Gaga, Abigail Breslin, Michiel Huisman

WHO SHOULD DIRECT IT? With the 2001 big screen adaptation of his off-Broadway play, Hedwig And The Angry Inch, actor, playwright, producer, and director, John Cameron Mitchell, crafted a roof-raising musical of stunning originality, and has since continued to push the envelope with films like Shortbus and Rabbit Hole. A master at mixing daring visuals and potent subject matter with richly emotional storytelling, this controversial filmmaker could engineer a Dazzler movie into something truly weird and wonderful – a big, colourful, kitschy kaleidoscope of superhero tropes and joy-inducing, eighties-era music.

WHO SHOULD BE IN IT? Lithe, blonde, talented, and beautiful, the jumpsuit-sporting, face-painted Dazzler aka Alison Blaire would mark a breakout role for the often underrated Blake Lively (The Town, Savages, Age Of Adaline), who has just the right look, physical presence, and acting chops for the role. Though Dazzler would pretty much be the whole show here, there are a few supporting players that could be thrown into the mix, including Alison Blaire’s deeply troubled mutant sister, Lois London (who would provide a strong showcase for Abigail Breslin); rock singer and fellow mutant, Lila Cheney (music superstar and occasional actress, Lady Gaga, would be terrific in an extended cameo); and dark-hued love interest, Roman Nekoboh (a good fit for Dutch-born Game Of Thrones charmer, Michiel Huisman, with whom Lively co-stars in Age Of Adaline).

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