Is Barry Sonnenfeld’s ‘Metal Men’ Adaptation Back In Development?

by Erik Amaya

It seems Dr. Magnus and the Metal Men may yet make it to the big screen.

While discussing the 4K home video releases of The Addams Family and Addams Family Values, Director Barry Sonnenfeld told Comic Book Movie (via Batman-News) he is currently in “active development” on a Metal Men film treatment with Warner Bros. Pictures. “It’s all about creating a world. An unusual, slightly off-kilter quirky, different kind of world; that’s what I love doing,” he told the site. He added that much like some of his other films, his idea for the project is grounded in the more-or-less real world with the off-kilter element of the Metal Men.

Devised in 1962 by Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru, the Metal Men are the creations of Dr. Will Magnus — five androids composed of key metallic substances with the ability to manipulate their forms. The personalities also reflected their metallic namesakes: Gold, Iron, Lead, Mercury, Tin, and Platinum. Of the group, only Platinum believed herself to be a real person and developed a romantic attachment to Dr. Magnus. Debuting in Showcase, the concept proved successful enough for the Metal Men to get their own series in 1963 which ran bimonthly for six years. The title returned in 1976, but was soon cancelled as DC’s fortunes famously fell in the latter part of that decade. The characters would make guest spots in other titles throughout the ’80s and eventually get a four-issue miniseries in 1993.

The group would receive more prominence in the 21st Century as they were a favorite of former DC co-publisher Dan Didio. Besides the executives own contributions in Wednesday Comics, Dr. Magnus’s had featured role in 52, and the characters made various animated appearances. In 2012, word of a potential film — with Sonnenfeld already linked as a possible director — first emerged. Although, that was during a very different time in the Warner Bros. story. The years of Christopher Nolan, Zach Snyder, the AT&T merger, and various plans to interconnect DC movies no doubt made the possibility of a Metal Men film a distant thing.

And yet, nine years later, Sonnenfeld is claiming active development.

Of course, there’s no guarantee the film will materialize. Directors always have several projects in development and we imagine his treatment would need to be approved by DC’s team, the current Warner management, and whoever replaces them after the merger with Discovery is finalized. Nevertheless, the poppy, mid-century charm of the Metal Men is a good fit for the director and we hope it happens some day.

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