Sunday, December 29, 2013

Fan Casting A NYX Feature Film

NYX is the comic miniseries that X-23 first appeared in way back in 2003.  While often being delayed per when each issue was released due to various reasons across the board, it should also be noted that the depth to which Joe Quesada approached each issue to highlight both story and subtext could have been a major contributing factor alongside his other duties.  It is a comic that deals in heavy overtones about children (albeit mutants in this instance) that get lost in the cracks of society.  This includes the notion of mutant children the Xavier institute itself has yet to notice or be able to help, leaving these young teens to fend for themselves in a world that's treating them as outcasts.

The subject material is a heady one to approach and deals with many topics such as drug usage, prostitution, school violence, suicide, running away from home, abuse, parental neglect, being kicked out of your home for being different, and family dynamics among more.  It is a story that can be shocking at first read but upon re-reads can also reflect the clear depth the writing went to and the images used to depict these topics in thought provoking manners.  It lets the reader impose certain views over events to create responses as opposed to going into full detail of certain scenarios, allowing for these interpretive reads to yield views and opinions from the subconscious of the reader and the views they themselves lean towards of character natures or of what they themselves desire.

This story is a hard one to adapt to film outright depending on the changes made.  It's one of those few miniseries, like X-23's origin, where the changes can be minimal to none outside of rights usage though.  Depending upon how it was approached, you really wouldn't have to make any changes at all unless you wanted to use some roles to highlight other potential additions to the larger Fox X-Men franchise.

The comic characters are as follows:

Kiden Nixon - The story starts off by focusing on her, her life, family struggles, and school troubles.  She is dealing with the death of her father.  A man who died as an off duty police officer while he was getting ice cream with his daughter during his birthday.  The story then picks up several years later as Kiden has become an rather rebellious youth that's dabbling in drugs her brother sells, and goes to raves before her mutant powers activate.  Leading eventually to her running away from home after being the target of a school shooting.

Tatiana Cabon - A kind young girl who loves and adores animals.  When her mutant power manifests it becomes at the cost of that which she loves.  Soon it leads to her being chased and treated as a monster for something she herself can barely understand and is still figuring out.  Eventually she is even kicked out of her own home as her mother neglects her and chooses an abusive boyfriend over her own daughter.

Laura Kinney/X-23 - This story picks up on Laura's aftereffects of feeling lost without her family and unsure of where to go.  Falling into the hands of a pimp, she is put into a cycle of further abuse while she's essentially emotionally lost and grieving over the separation from those she loves and the Facility that will never stop trying to hurt her.  It should also be noted, that issue 3 of NYX, where Laura first premiered in the 616 Marvel universe, has a published date of February 2004.  The miniseries had many delays, and though the issue may have hit stands sooner, February 2004 is when it was officially displayed in the comic for when it was released(comics are often released a month or two prior to the time displayed on cover or inside the cover).

Cameron Palmer - A teacher that is shot during the school shooting in the story, and feels lost over how her goals of helping children have led her to being afraid of ever leaving her home, causing her life to fall apart until she eventually attempts to commit suicide but is saved by Kiden.

Bobby Soul - A mutant who is attempting to help his little brother and himself find a better home.  He is hired by Laura Kinney's pimp to retrieve her.  Having been lied to by said pimp, he changes sides and attempts to help the others.

Lil' Bro - Bobby's little brother, also a mutant, but is a story device to showing the love and dedication a big brother has with a little brother that has special needs.  He is what drives Bobby Soul to try and make a better life for them both at any cost.

The story is a very character driven piece much akin to the cult classic feature film Go and has several character stories that interconnect into one larger narrative as they eventually work together to try and find a new home together, inadvertently becoming homeless on the streets and fighting for survival.  Even the adult of the group is soon forced to leave her home as the pimp hunting Laura finds out where she is staying as they try to figure out where to go next and what to do.  It is a very troubling story with no clear happy ending, but also speaks of support and is a story that sadly many can relate to.  It's a story of life and all the twisted paths it can take until one finds a home.  It may not actually be a story that's well suited to becoming a film that gets decent box office returns, but it is a story that's powerful in its own right for what it conveys about how not all of life is pretty, and the struggles it can entail.  It could easily become a cult classic, but carries themes and subtext that can be quite painful and emotionally draining to think about when put into perspective of the real people who have to deal with such aspects of life.

If this story were adapted for film, it would more than likely receive changes to fashion a happy ending and contribute to the larger X-Franchise world's narrative.  It is a majorly self-contained story though and would really be dependent on how the director best decided it would work for how they would want to tell this story.  For the most part, the characters that would have to remain are Laura and Kiden outright potentially.  Kiden being the main driving factor behind the events of the story, she is a character that could not be removed.  Laura herself being the factor that draws Zebra Daddy, her pimp, in the story and provides much of the conflict drive to the rest of the characters troubles.  It also provides one of the most iconic scenes of the story as it's the moment where Laura stands up for herself and for her friends to protect them from the pimp's gang.

Zebra daddy also provides one of the most iconic lines and scenes of the miniseries.  That of course being the infamous "welcome to my legend" line, which ends up becoming more of a nope, welcome to Laura's as to creates what happens to be one of the most cathartic and satisfying moments of the miniseries with Laura killing Zebra Daddy.

This outright is not a story for children.  The emotional material within is very adult heavy and plays honestly quite similarly to essentially a mutant version of Spring Breakers in many ways, albeit with an entirely different kind of narrative, themes, and scope.  Whereas Spring Breakers was 4 girls partying and dominating life, NYX is a story of survival, teens that have fallen in the cracks, and women standing up to not being used or abused any longer after a series of tumultuous life events.

It is a complicated story to adapt outright that may be too shocking for audiences.

Kiden Nixon being one of the few characters that may eventually need to be added to the Fox X-Franchise though due to her time manipulation powers, she is who we will focus on for the fan casting as many entries have already covered much in depth to who could portray Laura Kinney.

The only actress that comes to mind for Kiden, with her rave fueled beginning and initially harsh line delivery is Miley Cyrus.  Her recent image portrayal of herself fits in line to much of what Kiden displays early on before the story's events force her to grow up and become responsible for her actions.  They share much of the same initial personality, and attitude until much deeper into the story.  This of course is assuming Cyrus can act without using her natural Texas accent to display a native New Yorker.

So the main question really boils down to the fans.  Who do you think should portray each character in the story if such an ambitious project were to go underway?  Should such a piece of film be attempted?

Personally, I have a hard time thinking this one should be adapted, and tend to favor it potentially being skipped if Laura's story were to make it to the big screen.  There are scenes that I think would be amazing to see in live action, such as her standing up to Zebra Daddy and his gang, but personally I find it hard to believe that one action sequence is worth the emotional turmoil such a film could wrought on its audience and crew.  That's not to say it doesn't have purpose.  It's just that this miniseries in particular is a tricky beast to approach though it does have its merits for the story it conveys alongside the themes and subtext it deals with.  The discomfort it makes one feel is warranted as these are very disturbing topics, but they are topics that need help to make them better worldwide.  People do get lost in the cracks of society, and we mustn't forget that.  We must never stop trying to make the world better for everyone.

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