According to the LA Times today, 20th Century Fox is already prepping a solo spin-off for the Silver Surfer. The Marvel character features in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, opening this weekend, and Fox is apparently hoping that pic performs well enough to give the Surfer his own movie, because the studio has hired comic book writer/screenwriter J. Michael Straczynski to pen the thing. Straczynski has written for a number of Marvel titles, including the new series Silver Surfer: Requiem, he created the sci-fi series Babylon 5 and he recently delivered scripts for The Changeling, to be directed by Clint Eastwood, and the zombie adaptation World War Z. The LA Times article claims the Silver Surfer movie would be darker in tone than the new Fantastic Four sequel, possibly in response to fan criticisms of the sequel's PG rating. I've never actually read the Silver Surfer comics, so I'm not sure how dark is appropriate for the character, but I'll always take a more grown-up comic adaptation than something geared toward young children.

More exciting for me is the news, also mentioned in the LA Times piece, that Thor may soon have a director. Unlike the Surfer comics, The Mighty Thor was a title I followed for years, and so far the closest thing I've had to seeing the hero/god on the big screen is his 'cameo' in Adventures in Babysitting (and I doubt he'll be in the remake). Supposedly Layer Cake director Matthew Vaughn is in negotiations to helm the comic adaptation, which was greenlit last summer and which has a script by Mark Protosevich (Poseidon). I'm not a huge fan of Vaughn's directorial style and I was happy when he dropped out of X-Men: The Last Stand (though now I think he'd have done better), but I'm willing to give him a chance with Thor. I think his style may actually be appropriate for the god of thunder. Besides, we've so far only seen one film from him; his next, Stardust, arrives in August.

[via JoBlo and Moviehole]