Sunday, June 1, 2014

Opinion - "X-23: Daughters of Darkness" The Marketing Possibilities of a direct to video release.

One idea I've been tossing around internally about an X-23 film that I personally like, is the idea of doing something similar to the Batman The Animated Series episode "Legends of the Dark Knight."  This episode featured kids relating their stories of what they thought Batman was.  It allowed for a myriad of stories and styles to be used within the confines of the same episode before the final reveal to the kids of the real Batman.

With X-23, this presents a unique opportunity with all that she represents.  Due to the dynamic of her history and character interactions, we're given a point of inquiry for those investigating her actions.  Every witness or person she's saved since escaping the Facility might be questioned by someone working on the case to track her for alleged crimes she's committed.  Similar to what Steve Rogers did in the origin tale, or what Agent Alisande Morales did prior to the Not Forgotten story arc.  This outlet allows for a chance to tell a story for X-23 that contains many stories within.  It gives a chance for many actresses to portray her within the confines of the same cinematic world.  The story itself being told from each different person means how they see her would be different from each other.  So each tale highlighted could present a slightly different side of X-23.  Each witness or person saved would describe her differently as is the nature of perception.

Each tale could be a snippet of X-23's history between her origin tale to potentially the Not Forgotten story arc.  This allows a more rapid means of covering her character history while also prepping for whoever is handling her case file from the carnage left in her wake prior to the events of a Not Forgotten film.  This scenario setup allows for multiple directors and writers even.  It presents a unique chance for all kinds of stories to be told.  Something similar was presented with the movie Fear Island.  The difference with X-23 is that it'd be a single witness from separate not connected events or in some cases different witnesses and perspectives of a larger moment as well.  Like say a human trafficking ring Laura may bust.  Each woman or child saved may describe her differently and the events they witnessed where another witness's perspective may have ended.

This could work extremely well as a direct to video marketing release prior to an X-23 film itself.  Look at the various animated forays that have done this to help build into their tied to movie's release.  Animatrix presented unique stories that couldn't be told within the confines of a film, but were still interconnected and help gave a larger view of this world and the people in it.  Batman: Gotham Knight allowed several animation directors to portray Batman as they saw him.  Green Lantern: Emerald Knights helped showcase the entire Green Lantern corps before that major studio's film release.

With X-23 though, the choices wouldn't be limited to animation.  We could have live action shorts attached that showcase and allow these actresses a therapeutic means to vent that could be cathartic for them.  Without going into a tirade against the misogyny thrown at many actresses daily, this would be a chance to let them roar.  There could also be animated shorts included.  Heaven knows I'd personally want to see Monty Oum's take on the character's action potential.  With this being a collection of short films featuring Laura, there's a wide array of choices and directions that could be taken per which story told and how it's related to the framing point of an investigator.  Of course, the last shot of such a feature should be the reveal of which actress is portraying X-23 for the silver screen and if we saw her in any of the previous "witness statements".  It'd allow for a chance to show all these different facets of the character in how others see her, and yet at the end of it, show the audience that this is the real X-23 they've all been talking about.

It's a simple question an idea like this presents.  Who is X-23?  A setup like this allows the question to be explored from many perspectives and help prepare the audience for exactly how complicated that answer really is.  Something like this, the title almost feels like it should be X-23: Daughters of Darkness.  Yup, that's a Halestorm song reference in the title there, but it also helps suggest that this contains multiple actresses portraying the character.  We could have Summer Glau voicing her for an animated short film.  Lucy Hale portraying Laura for a live action one.  Selena Gomez for another.  India Eisley for one or really any actress that may be interested in the role and what it represents.  The list goes on and on, so long as the ending dialogue after the final interview closely mirrors the ending scene of the origin feature itself of "where is she now" with the actress that will be portraying her on the silver screen exiting a vehicle of some kind to be suggestive of her travels that each story related.

Using this as a marketing point prior to an origin film, or even after, could help bolster the overall audience retention of her film appearances.  It'd also start to create more discussions over various topics, and could make an impact to help people.

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