If you're looking for a dark and twisted comic book adaptation, then you've come to the right place.
Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson's mature Image Comics series about a corrupt ex-cop who meets an imaginary blue horse named Happy on his hunt for a murderer has been picked up for production by Syfy. According to Deadline, the cable channel has ordered a pilot to be produced by Universal Cable Productions and will be written and co-executive produced by Morrison and Brian Taylor, writer and director of the Crank film series.
In terms of comic series waiting for a TV adaption, Happy! may at first appear an odd choice. It's the story of a foul-mouthed, alcoholic, ex-police-officer-turned-gunman who finds himself close to death after one of his assassination attempts turns sour. He begins to see a tiny imaginary horse named Happy, who helps him track down a murderous sexual predator. Clearly this is not your standard Sunday-night drama. Happy!'s appeal comes from the interactions between these two polar-opposite characters, so seeing their disparate personalities play out on screen could really bring a new and exciting element to the pair's grisly adventures.
The series' human protagonist Nick Sax is a cold, selfish killer; a disgraced former cop lost in a sea of murder, alcoholism and eczema. A character that is difficult to identify with at the best of times. Yet I believe there are three actors who could nail the role and help bring Happy! to life.
1. Josh Brolin
No stranger to adaptations, Josh Brolin has already played a wide variety of comic book characters. That being said, it's his performances in gritty crime films like No Country for Old Men and Gangster Squad that show how he could tackle the complex, morally reprehensible role of Nick Sax. Although a solid choice for Happy!'s pilot, Brolin's history of playing relatable protagonists could potentially make the character a little too likable for the tone of the series.
2. Idris Elba
Another comic adaption veteran, Idris Elba has played gruff and grumpy types in both film and on television many times before, with a particularly shining performance in the BBC crime drama Luther. Although doubtlessly a capable actor, Elba is perhaps, at the moment, a little too ruggedly handsome to play Nick, so would have to seriously pack on the pounds (we're talking burgers, not dumbbells) to portray the flabby and eczema-ridden former cop.
3. Mickey Rourke
With a wide range of roles under his light heavyweight belt — including a starring role in Frank Miller's Sin City (alongside aforementioned Happy! competitor Josh Brolin), and Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler — Mickey Rourke could easily play the morally reprehensible Nick Sax. Despite his long career, Rourke has never acted in a television series, so he might be unwilling to make the leap from the silver screen after success in Hollywood.
Check out the trailer below to Rourke's most recent film, Weaponized.
So there you have it. Josh Brolin, Idris Elba and Mickey Rourke — all talented actors who could bring this sordid and unpleasant character to life and help make Syfy's Happy! a comic book adaptation to be reckoned with. Plus, imagine how great it would be to watch one of these guys talking smack to a small, blue, eternally optimistic horse!