Over a decade ago, Scott Lobdell wrote a slasher comedy screenplay called Half To Death. It was basically Groundhog Day meets Scream. Originally announced from Michael Bay and starring Megan Fox, it didn’t happen. It was put in a bottom drawer by a series of studio executives. Earlier this year, it was pulled out, produced by Jason Blum through his Blumhouse Productions and given to director Christopher B. Landon who brought it up to date, renamed it Happy Death Day and filmed it, starring Jessica Rothe and Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine, Charles Aitken and Rachel Matthews.
When the trailer was first released it had a writers credit for both Scott Lobdell and Christopher Landon. But on release, Lobdell has been awarded full credit
And now, the first horror film to be released on Friday 13th for an age, the low budget Happy Death Day looks as if it will knock the slightly more expensive Blade Runner from the no 1 spot, and also beat out other newcomers The Foreigner, Marshall and Professor Marston & The Wonder Women to the box office top spot. And for the first time in an even longer age, someone better known as a comic book writer will have a no 1 film based on their sole screenplay.
Scott Lobdell was a big name writer in the nineties and noughties, writing the fill-in issue of Alpha Flight that would out Northstar as Marvel’s gay superhero making international headlines, working on the X-Men titles, co-creating Generation X and other X-Men characters such as Blink and Onslaught and bringing us Age Of Apocalypse. He fell out of favour at Marvel, considered old-fashioned when Bill Jemas and Joe Quesada took over Marvel Comics, and even during recent nostalgic moves that saw Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza return to Marvel, Lobdell was not invited back.
Instead, he worked for Wildstorm, co-creating Divine Right with Jim Lee, and when Wildstorm was bought by DC Comics, began working for his old Marvel Editor-In-Chief Bob Harras, now EIC at DC, on Superman, Teen Titans and Red Hood And The Outlaws. Indeed that latter title has finally seen him getting solid reviews again, since DC Rebirth, and, with the crossover team book No World for Aspen, he has expanded his audience. Indeed, it was his work with Aspen that saw Megan Fox, a friend of that studio, initially take interest in the movie.
And now it looks like he will have written a number one movie. You know, if Fox were wanting to make a Generation X movie to follow New Mutants, maybe they should give the man a call. His characters Blink, after all, is already starring in The Gifted and Dr Cecelia Reyes in New Mutants. Never has someone quite so old-fashioned been suddenly so relevant it would seem.
And if any comic company wants to run a blurb “From the writer of Happy Death Day” you know where to go…