Among the wave of announcements that DC Studios has offered to redefine the future of its new cinematic universe under the direction of James Gunn, there are some adaptations of works of undoubted prestige in the world of comics, which also share the tone of departing from the established canons of what a superhero story should be. Among them is The Authority, one of the most famous works by Warren Ellis (Extremis, Thunderbolts, Transmetropolitan, Planetary), in which the British writer turned an established universe upside down to give it a more adult, morally much grayer and much more violent twist, which makes it difficult to imagine it as a big blockbuster for the cinema.
What is The Authority about?
The premise of The Authority is not new and has been explored by established Marvel and DC superheroes, albeit always behind the fence of "what ifs" or using the wild card of alternate realities. What would happen if the most powerful group of superheroes on the planet decided not to submit to any control? that they would be judges and executioners of what they deemed evil? that they would interfere in the geopolitics of the planet without regard to any government? and that they would be completely ruthless in their methods, killing even when they felt the end justified the means? Well, that's the approach of The Authority, with the added benefit that since the characters they use aren't as totemic as those of DC or Marvel, the creative liberties they can take are even wilder.
It's no longer just that The Authority decides what's right and wrong in the world, but that they individually are not moral champions. Yes, they have good intentions, and as a base they help the weak because they can, but it's not like they can be considered blameless. On top of that, curve balls are also introduced as a way to deconstruct certain behaviors of iconic characters (no matter how many alternate Earths we put in between, it's hard to imagine Superman married to Batman and getting it on, an allusion Warren Ellis makes in a blatant way with the characters of Apollo and Midnighter).
Gunn makes no bones about the fact that it may be the most violent movie DC Studios has ever made, and says it's a passion project he's working hard on with a writer to bring it to fruition. No release date has been announced, but we have no doubt that it will be something to talk about from now until it hopefully hits theaters in the future.