Last week it was reported that IDW Publishing has partnered with Sony and Michael Bay's production company, Platinum Dunes, to turn the comic series Zombies Vs. Robots in to a movie. Videogame writer and filmmaker J.T. Petty has used the comic as the basis for a spec script called "Inherit The Earth." I have never heard of Zombies Vs. Robots before but the description sounds awesome. Robots are protecting a baby from zombies? And hilarity ensues? How could we have we missed such a thing! Judging just by the art alone, it looks spectacular.
We asked Sarah at Hold Onto Yr Genre to explain it for us, since she's read the comics and has Opinions about Film. We wanted to know what she thought about the series translating to the silver screen, whether the result may be too campy, and if there is going to be enough gore, because there can never really be enough gore. Her response after the jump.
I just re-read it since the comic is about 6 years old, and it is more humorous than I remember it being, considering that Ashley Wood's art is on the dark and Expressionistic side. The robots were initially created to time travel for humans, and they believe that a robot brought back a virus from the past or future that infected all of the humans and turned them into zombies. The robots found one baby girl alive and they're trying to keep her alive and away from the zombies, who apparently have a hivemind. So one sniff of the baby or another human by any zombie anywhere will cause the rest to show up.
The robots and the baby live in a cave bunker and the robots are trying to figure out things like how to make the baby stop crying. There are several classes of robots, including a Docbot that is mostly in charge of the baby. They want to clone her and restart the human race. The first issue ends on a cliffhanger as the robots also collect zombies on occasion and one sees the baby. The robots dispatch the zombie, but one drop of blood is seen flying into the baby's mouth.
The first issue seems to be sort of told from the P.O.V. of a "Pressbot", so a reporter. I don't know if that will be used as a framing device for the film - it may or may not work depending how the rest of the series goes (I'm really quite ambivalent towards "found footage" scenarios in films at this point). The first issue is already somewhat cinematic, so it could translate directly with few issues.
The story is already pretty silly on its own, so I don't know if it necessarily has to veer into strict camp territory. It can probably be told straight and just have funny moments with the robots doing the Three Men and a Baby act (there has to be a scene with the robots trying to figure out how to change a diaper - although robots can't smell). It already seems like a genre-crossing film sci-fi, action, horror, and comedy. There is actually very little gore in the first issue until the final pages.
I am not sure that Platinum Dunes does intentionally silly material well. Their horror remakes that I have seen have been bland. If they get a director with a sense of humor, then it may go well. I hope that it's at least better than the Transformers movies, or even Romero's last zombie movie.
Also: It appears that the zombies do run in this comic book!
So, there you go. Fast moving zombies and another robot franchise for Michael Bay to destroy. Sounds like I'll be headed to the library instead, because THE COMPLETE ZOMBIES VS ROBOTS is now available as both a hardcover graphic novel and a trade paperback.