Ill have interactions that feel like a cartoon. Neither are the most successful modern takes on the genre. Go on Netflix or YouTube and see their work., I felt the whole thing was inefficient, he adds a frequent complaint of his about the current Hollywood system. Over a series of phone calls with Inverse in the summer of 2021 (the shows release was delayed several times), the 37-year-old film and TV producer reveals how he set out to redefine and challenge the superhero genre in his most personal piece of work yet. The marketing machine wasnt the only aspect of traditional filmmaking that Shankar forwent with Guardians of Justice. Why do we insist on his always going one step farther to enhance our situation? That journey is more important than the destination.. Isn't he also entitled to suffer and live a peaceful life? The superhero genre stopped being the superhero genre a long time ago.. A kryptonite bullet (actually, it's called something else, but you get the idea) blasts off the head of Superman, humanity's emblem of hope. He describes the show with fluidity, like jazz., Youre not listening for the chorus the way you listen to a pop song. We were allowed to view The Guardians of Justice, a Netflix television series. A Netflix superhero series that combines animation and live action to create a spoof that is taken seriously at moments and not at others. He manages to avert a Third World War, which is, regrettably, all over the news these days, despite our best efforts to ignore him and go on with our lives. The guy operates on a quantum level. Replete with 80s and 90s pop culture references over the bones of a superhero opera, Guardians of Justice is a half-animated, trippy reincarnation of Alan Moores graphic novel Watchmen. It could have been a lot more intriguing if self-awareness of its limitations had come first, rather than the urge to be yet another product in the never-ending battle to get a superhero product on the market. It was like trusting a lunatic with a fever dream., It was a cryptic experience, this weird fucking superhero art project my friend wanted to make that existed only in his head, Ozshan adds. Superheroes and their abilities always seem better in this format, even if it can be a little shabby at times. We had interesting artists doing stuff. Im making the broad point that this existed intentionally as a commentary on other things, he says. She berates herself for putting her faith in action and adventure. It's called The Guardians of Justice, and it's a kind of parody that's not sure if it's meant to be taken seriously or as a joke. In the Bootleg shorts which include 2012s The Punisher: Dirty Laundry, 2013s Venom: Truth in Journalism, and 2015s POWER/RANGERS theres an absence of colorful iconography and binary morality of good and evil that are typical of the genre as it currently exists. Yes, we are aware. That era of the internet is over, he says. He has, in fact, reminded us of a number of notions. [The show] is how it feels to be inside my head, Shankar says. Shankar was an executive producer on The Grey and Dredd, the creator and showrunner of the Netflix series based on the video game Castlevania. Marvelous Man, an alien superhero who is similar to Superman but Asian, lands on Earth as an adult and becomes a beacon of hope for humanity. You took it on faith that it would piece together.. Adi Shankar, creator of the Bootleg Universe, reveals the machinations behind his weirdest, most ambitious project yet. While its presence on the corporate and data-driven Netflix may run counter to Shankars principles of a disruptive and democratized internet, he is determined to maintain his sense of self. The successful filmmakers from any era were ultimately the guys and gals who were able to work within the system, but not get gobbled up by the system, he says. He was assassinated. They created an ecosystem where the only version of this that works are blogs and podcasts; you just sit and record.. So all of Netflix's superheroes are summoned to find out who the murderer was and who is behind such a conspiracy. The Guardians of Justice (Will Save You) is streaming now on Netflix. We have, of course, been disappointed. WandaVision is about grief. Guardians of Justice, which wields its own IP (albeit with obvious allusions to Marvel, DC Comics, and beyond), lives up to the Bootleg Universes spirit while forging its own way. The stories similarly explore broader themes, like street justice or the loss of innocence via the military-industrial complex. His physical appearance inspires others, magical or not, to follow in his footsteps. Im not trying to say anything about the superhero genre, Shankar says. Adi Shankar, it seems, is as bored by the internet as he is by traditional Hollywood. Thumbing his nose at Hollywoods way of doing things is very much in the tradition of his Bootleg Universe Shankars collection of fan films that reinterpret his favorite superheroes, none of which had the official approval of the copyright owners. Every day of my life is kind of like weaving in and out of different mediums and tones., No one fucking knows what's going on in his head, Ozshan says. I didnt want to be jeopardized. When the protagonist, Marvelous Man, decides to end his life, the story takes a 180-degree turn. The Boys is about corporate power. This explains Shankars Bootleg Universe. However, it is a "B-series" type of show that ignores its audiovisual flaws in favor of action and adventure in the style of DC Comics' Justice League. When it's evident that you don't have the time or resources to do anything like that. Which, by the way, is perfectly acceptable up to that point. Nothing. We're looking for a peculiar bunch of superheroes that we can't seem to find. Netflix has, however, created a series of superheroes that has gone overlooked. To Shankar, the most defiant comics epics which he defines as Watchmen, The Dark Knight Rises, and Chris Claremonts and Grant Morrisons X-Men are not about superheroes. ASSESSMENT: In the superhero genre, The Guardians of Justice (Netflix) may have been an interesting reflective and self-parodic exercise. I read scenes. We used to get amazing drops on the internet, Shankar says of the time when indie filmmakers and the first wave of vloggers found ways around the traditional studio system by putting original videos on places like YouTube and Vimeo. Because he couldn't handle the responsibility of not being able to help everyone, of listening to and feeling people's pain and not being able to reach all areas, Marvelous Man committed suicide. If art is an extension of the artist, Netflixs new limited series The Guardians of Justice (Will Save You) is creator and showrunner Adi Shankars outstretched arms. Has Nezuko been over-sexualized in the anime, according to Kimetsu no Yaiba fans? Superheroes, superheroes, superheroes, and then some. You have independent creators and voices building the way, showing a [direct-to-consumer] model that can work, he says of that time. Production took place sporadically over six years, and none of the shows lead actors ever auditioned. Go watch the tape. Meanwhile, we have to put up with some bad effects, weak production designs, "series B" characterizations, and a horrible audiovisual exercise. They cant just all be fighting Magneto forever. An original story by Shankar that fuses live-action with a variety of animations, Guardians of Justice tells of a superhero team in crisis mode after their leader, Marvelous Man (Will Yun Lee), kills himself on live television. Youre going with the artist on the journey, Ozshan explains. Sometimes its Fleischer-esque, sometimes its anime. You set a bunch of expectations, and you're trying to deliver as you see the entire arc of that situation. There are no interesting approaches or moral disputes. It stops being a commentary the more it starts emulating them.. From a story standpoint, this might be really intriguing. The guardians of justice is a whirlpool of ideas and objects. It's in the superhero motif. How hard is that?. Marvelous Man did not murder himself, according to the actor who plays Batman in Netflix's Guardians of Justice. It's a pity that I choose to guide the attention towards an action and adventure series, despite such a curious and interesting proposition, so original, to which we would undoubtedly have forgiven its unambitious character and "series B" nature. All of this, with a distinct eighties nave tone and a combination of action and animation. Guardians of Justice addresses its genre, but with Shankars distinct signatures.
Im of the generation where the superhero genre is just a tool to tell a story.. Only the animation saves her, and even that isn't often enough. Marvelous Man has kept the peace on our world for forty years. All of that is diluted as soon as a main character's intriguing suicide becomes a macguffin. A super powerful alien, a magical goddess, a king of the oceans, a vigilante who battles crime, a speedster, a man who says one word and gains the power of seven gods, and so on are among the characters. The Netflix series, on the other hand, is extremely rare. They're doing things in a way because that's how they did them yesterday..
He's got a vision that comes from another dimension., He adds, Working with him means trusting, entirely, the guy knows what he's doing. A heinous and unplanned suicide that is broadcast live on television to make matters worse. That's what I'm trying to do.. He has not been completely corrupted by ultimate power, but it has killed him with anxiety and sadness. He's no longer a symbol of hope. Going on YouTube and dropping an 11-minute short film with Thomas Jane as the Punisher, thats an act of rebellion when you're talking about the biggest companies in the world that control culture, government, and legislation, he says. Before I knew it, Id shot four episodes. Actors have done things. Invincible, Hawkeye, and Shang-Chi showed how secrets split families. The Guardians of Justice, a Netflix superhero flop, has been criticized. Everything is thematically presented and lit in desaturated grays. Youre peeking inside my mind, Shankar tells Inverse of his confounding new superhero epic. Because it is a brief program with short episodes, it may serve as a hobby for someone. When I'm around movie people, I end up complaining how inefficient and silly the movie business is, he says. A year later he asked me to do a little more. Its a lot. A weird contribution to the genre that, without a doubt, will not elicit much discussion, commotion, or social media impact. THE ANIMATION IS THE BEST. What the Post-Credit Scenes in Eternals Mean, Nearly a million copies of Jurassic World Evolution 2 have been sold, and Frontier has big ambitions for the future. I didn't want there to be any pressure, Shankar tells Inverse of his decision not to lean into a major marketing campaign. No one ever actually asked me to do it., None of it made sense to anyone. But even though Shankar has serious Hollywood and fandom credibility, most people didnt even know Guardians of Justice, which premieres March 1, was coming unless they caught a screening at Cannes last September. Actor Hal Ozshan a friend of Shankars for 10 years who stars as TV journalist Van Dawson in Guardians tells Inverse that, not only did he skip the auditioning process, but he was reading scenes long before production began. They were people broadcasting themselves., Then the corporations came in and developed the business model, he adds. I didn't know if I could handle it, existing in that manner where you feel like all eyes are on you, he adds. Case in point: Shankar knows how he could continue the saga of the Guardians of Justice beyond the shows six episodes a virtual must in our era of expanding cinematic universes. Is it possible for a superman to endure everything that Superman (or Marvelous Man, in this case) goes through simply to be a superman?
Its the culmination of the last 100 years distilled into 30-minute episodes of madness, he says. Please take me on an adventure. His Bootleg Universe series of short unauthorized satirical films on pop culture and comic icons cemented him as a creator to watch after his gritty take on the Power Rangers went viral. You land where youre supposed to land emotionally and intellectually, but you take a very circuitous route to get there. When you look at the vast majority of superhero entertainment, there's a motif there: People wearing costumes and capes and stuff. I've never fucking worked like that in my life, he says. Humanity is at a loss on what to do. It's an act of stupidity at this point.. It's as if you mixed some intriguing nuggets from the aforementioned The Boys with Kung Fury to make a cocktail. You're walking a trapeze wire with Adi all the time., But Ozshan, like Shankar, believes in the shows potential to disrupt a culture in stasis.
INVERSE 2022 BDG Media, Inc. All rights reserved. I don't feel like Guardians of Justice is in the superhero genre. I wanted to just come out of nowhere and drop something.. Netflix's Guardians of Justice is clearly based on DC Comics' Justice League.
The Batman and The Boys Presents: Diabolical are both premiering at the same time this week. It's not an act of rebellion to put something on Google. Jessica Jones dealt with domestic abuse. WORST: The series is completely unconscious of its flaws and lack of ambition. Warner Bros. Pictures and Amazon Prime Video are battling it out for a weekend that will almost probably see the Dark Knight prevail with a film that has both moved and amazed us. Shankar attributes part of his working style on Guardians to his experiences on other productions. But there's a narrative construct through which they exist, Shankar says. Adi Shankar produced The Guardians of Justice, which is a hybrid of animation and live action. I don't understand auditioning, Shankar says. But beyond how it's released or even how it was made, its what Guardians of Justice abstractly represents that best illustrates its power and Shankars. It's a strange situation. But the way they photographed the Justice League from beginning to end is downright bold. A year later hes like, Can you shoot one thing? I shot that, thought that was it.