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Soon I Will Be A Movie

July 25, 2008 |  8:30 pm

Austin Grossman, author of "Soon I will Be Invincible," is wandering around Comic-Con wearing steampunk goggles and a brown velvet jacket that's got a 19th-century scientist vibe. He's in town because his book is in development for a movie with Strike Entertainment, which produced "Children of Men" (based on P.D. James' novel). Dan Weiss is working on the screenplay. "My agent is kind of a high flyer. He created a shell company and we kinda bought the rights for ourselves using someone else's money," Grossman says with a chuckle.

Invincible_2 The book, which deals with a middle-aged supervillain going up against his bickering nemeses, was essentially a comic-book in literary form, yet it's considered literature—"One of the lessons of Joss Whedon's success is that you can do genre stuff, but it needs to have real characters, real feelings behind it, and it needs to be smart."

Grossman is a creative consultant on the film — note the lack of ironic tick-marks here; he appears to be actively involved. "There's a sense of the voice of Dr. Impossible I think that it's really crucial to get right. That's my major role."

Also much of the characters' background information ("backstory" for comics buffs) will be indicated through scene settings, newspapers lying around. "It's plotted more simply [than the book]," says Grossman. "What I like is that they kept the off-kilter rhythm of the scenes. A lot of the scenes end oddly in the novel, and we kept that."

As he leaves, Grossman says, "You know, I just realized, but Baron Ether (one of Grossman's characters) is kind of steampunk. Grossman is a recent steampunk convert, inspired by Joss Whedon's Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Ironically, Whedon has admitted that this YouTube short was inspired by seeing the title of Grossman's book. "Yeah, the goggles on the forehead-thing I'm wearing—that's Dr. Horrible's signature."

Laurel Maury

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