Top Cow Productions published the comic book called Wanted by Mark Millar in 2003. Wanted focused on a cubicle worker named Wesley Gibson who had been pushed around by almost everyone in his unfulfilled life. He meets Fox, who is part of a super villain organization called the Fraternity.
The Fraternity was formed in the 1980s by super villains who realized that they had greater strength in groups against super heroes. The super villains won the battle against the super heroes, and erased all of the world’s memories of anyone with special abilities. Wesley meets Professor Solomon Selzer, a mad scientist, who leads the North and South American chapter of the organization.
The Professor informs him that his father worked for the Fraternity and was assassinated by an unknown man. In order for Wesley to receive the inheritance left to him by his father, he must join the Fraternity. He is trained by Fox and accepted into the fold later on. When Rictus and Future want to go against the Fraternity’s secrecy policy and rule the world, Wesley and Fox must stop them before it’s too late.
Wanted was adapted into a 2008 film loosely based on the comic book. The film starred Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman, with James McAvoy as Wesley Gibson.
Writer: Chris Morgan, Michael Brandt, Derek Haas
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Company: Universal Pictures, Spyglass Entertainment, in association with Relativity Media
Release Date: June 27, 2008 (US)
Length: 110 min.
MPAA: Rated R
Wanted follows a similar plot as its predecessor, but a few things from the comic book were changed. Instead of the Fraternity being a super villain organization, it is a thousand year old secret society of assassinations. Weavers created the organization when they found errors woven into their Loom containing secret coding. The secret code identifies names of targets that need to be assassinated in order to restore order in the world.
The film focuses on Wesley Gibson, a cubicle worker, who wishes something more from his life. He meets a mysterious woman named Fox, who informs him of his father’s assassination by Cross. She takes him to Sloan at the Fraternity Headquarters, and they inform Wesley that his father was an assassin for the company in the past. If Wesley joins the organization, he will receive the inheritance left by his father. Fox trains Wesley and they go on missions for the Fraternity. This leads to a confrontation with Cross, who assassinated Wesley’s father. Wesley figures out the truth behind his father’s death, and retaliates against Sloan.
Wanted was surprisingly exciting and entertaining! I was astounded that it was just as enjoyable as the comic book it was loosely based on. The surreal action sequences and the imperfect slow-motion technique in the film impressed me the most. The music score by Danny Elfman had set the mood for every scene perfectly. Wesley’s girlfriend and best friend having sex were one of the few scenes I could do without seeing in the film.
Wanted has taught me that sometimes a movie adaptation can be entertaining. Reading the comic book before watching the film helped me understand instances that were never fully explained, such as why Wesley’s father had a super human ability.
The Wanted comic book presented a theme of “standing up to others and taking back control of your life” that felt as if the film magnified more extensively than the book. The film was hokey in some areas because of the story technique, but I still found enjoyable scenes outweighing anything I disliked about the film.
Wanted was nominated by the Academy Awards for “Best Sound Editing” and “Best Sound Mixing.” Wanted: Weapons of Fate was released on March 24, 2009 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and the PC. It takes place after the events of the first movie, where Wesley focused his efforts to seek the Immortal from the French Fraternity division in order to find out the truth about his family.
Wanted is available on DVD, and a sequel will be directed by Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, Day Watch) with the film’s story written by Mark Millar (Wanted, comic book). Wanted is set for a late 2011 release.