With powers lost to a catastrophic injury and post-traumatic stress disorder on the menu, Mettle proposes to bring us a superhero unlike any other.
As introduced Saturday by Edward James Olmos, his producer son Michael D. Olmos, and Iron Man comic scribe and artist Bob Layton, the vision appears every bit as groundbreaking as the trio contended during their panel at Comicpalooza.
Imagine a superhero with real problems, with more than a list of archenemies, special powers and a desire to serve-up justice, and you'll have Mettle.
With Mettle, Edward James Olmos said, they hope "to grab [the audience] and make it possible for the [superhero] genre to grow."
"It's entirely character-driven. It's not about powers," or the immunity of superheroes to injury, Layton said. "It's an allegory for real life and I think no one can bring it to the screen like Ed. He has just the intensity that we want to portray with this character."
"[Edward James Olmos] will be in every scene as himself even though it takes place over 30 years," Layton said. Michael D. Olmos stated that they'd use "all the technology that exists to do that."
"We're gonna do some stuff that will blow you away," stated a passionate Layton.
When one audience member asked about Mettle's superhero being Latino, the elder Olmos responded, "It's not about culture at all. It's about the story."
Layton agreed. "The story, as it's written out in terms of treatment, is very multicultural." Being Latino is "just a part of who he is, but it's not what the story is about."
"It's about the mettle of the man," Layton stated.
The story is the brainchild of Layton, one of the men behind the re-imagined Iron Man, and Michael D. Olmos, a confessed comic aficionado.
"We found that he and I are very kindred spirits," Layton said. "We're both incredibly character-driven guys. Ed is, too, which makes it perfect."
Layton said that while on the set of Filly Brown
, Michael D. Olmos started "telling me about what Ed was looking for and next thing I know, we start kicking ideas around and next thing you know, we have a full blown story."
"This movie has probably one of the best endings ... since SE7EN," Michael Olmos said.
The ending "will blow you away," Layton agreed.
When asked about the possibility of a comic in conjunction with the film, Layton smiled and said, "We want to develop the comic book and the movie simultaneously."
Edward James Olmos said he hoped making Mettle would allow him to make another film that's been on his want-to-do list for three decades.
"For thirty years I've been trying to make the life story of Roy Benavidez
," he said.
Benavidez is a winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor whose real-life feats during the Vietnam War prompted Olmos to declare he "out Rambos Rambo" before lamenting that no one wants to do the movie.
"No wants to do it," he said, but then added, "Someday I'm gonna do this story. And I will. I think this story [Mettle] will let me do that story."