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Comicpalooza: Edward James Olmos Announces Superhero Project METTLE!

Nordling here.

I've had an amazing first day at Comicpalooza, the science fiction, comic, anime, film, and gaming convention being held this weekend in Houston, Texas.  I've been able to meet with some old friends, make new ones, and generally hang out with a bunch of fellow geeks.  The convention was a lot larger than I imagined, taking up a ton of space at Houston's George R. Brown Convention Center, and lots of dealer booths, exhibitions, panels, activities, and of course, geek people watching, which is always fun.  I can't imagine anyone wanting to wear Darth Vader gear in Houston weather, but hey, if Vader can do it, so can we Texans.

Today at his panel, Edward James Olmos announced his project that he's working on with his son, producer, and co-writer Michael Olmos and co-writer Bob Layton (IRON MAN's amazing "Demon In A Bottle" comic and creator of Valiant Comics),  The project is a superhero story called METTLE.  There will be comic books based on the character in his youth, and then a full-length feature film.

The premise of the story concerns Olmos' character, a Latino soldier from the Vietnam War, who when captured by the Vietcong undergoes various medical experiments that grant him superpowers.  When he gets home he learns to adapt to his powers (which were unspecified at the panel, but I'd imagine some super-strength would be involved, based on the hints they gave).  Come present day, Olmos' character is struck ill and loses his abilities, and also must deal with post-traumatic stress disorder due to the traumatizing events of his life.  It's at that moment that his enemies decide to strike, and Olmos' character must deal with the return of his enemies and their plots at the moment in his life when he's most vulnerable.  Layton, especially was talking up the story, which Olmos said, "has a killer ending.  Maybe better than SEVEN's.  A killer opening, too."

The way Olmos pitched the project, it really sounded amazing, big in scope, and Layton talked about how in the end, it's what the character is willing to die for that counts.  There would be flashbacks to earlier in Olmos' superhero career, and they clearly stated that Olmos would be playing the character at all stages of his life.  Whether this would be achieved through CGI, or makeup, was unclear, but they were very specific that Olmos would be playing Mettle (which I'm assuming the hero would be called) through the entire film.  There is a plan to release a comic book with Mettle's younger exploits in it, as well.

Edward James Olmos also stated that he hopes the project gets enough success that he would be able to launch his dream project - the story of Roy Benevidez, American Congressional Medal of Honor winner, and soldier in Vietnam.  "If this weren't real, people would never believe it," said Olmos, who went on to describe a story of pure heroics as Benevidez jumped out of a helicopter to help save his fellow soldiers in a firefight in Vietnam.  "This guy out-Rambos Rambo."

I hope both of these projects pan out for Edward James Olmos - they sound epic in scale and, more importantly, just plain old good, entertaining stories with terrific larger-than-life characters.  Olmos professed a great love of the superhero genre in general - "You should see my garage," he said, pointing towards his son Michael.  "$500?  For a comic book?"  Apparently he raised a true geek son, and now this sounds like a terrific project.

Nordling, out.

Readers Talkback
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  • May 28, 2011, 8:31 p.m. CST

    E.J.O. is the man!!!!

    by golden tribw

    Haven't read the story yet (1st?) but make him a superhero and let him kick ass.

  • May 28, 2011, 8:32 p.m. CST

    After reading this does sound amazing.

    by golden tribw

    Cross your fingers for an R rating.

  • May 28, 2011, 8:33 p.m. CST

    EJO was the best thing about Battlestar Galactica.

    by golden tribw

    He has the kind of presence that is about to disappear permanently from the screen. Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Colm Feore, Edward James Olmos, Clint Eastwood, Sean Connery, . . . . these are names that sound appropriate together. I can't think of anyone under the age of 50 or so who has the same sort of gravitas as these guys, but then again maybe it's age that does the trick.

  • May 28, 2011, 8:34 p.m. CST

    I'm gonna keep talking to myself till somebody else shows up.

    by golden tribw

  • May 28, 2011, 8:37 p.m. CST


    by Caerdwyn

    I'm here, Goldentribe! Cease with the crazy. And yes, EJO is incredible, in person and on screen. Take a gander at his Twitter and you'll see someone who embraces his work with true aplomb.

  • May 28, 2011, 8:49 p.m. CST

    That's all we need, another damn superhero movie.

    by IronEagle74

    I love Edward James Olmos, but I'm utterly sick of these freaking superhero movies.

  • He doesn't have his powers any more. He's old and world-weary. And it doesn't sound at all as though it will have some "my powers are back!" cliché of an ending .... so what's the problem? In a general sense I largely agree with you.

  • May 28, 2011, 8:52 p.m. CST

    goldentribe, those guys always had it, young or old.

    by IronEagle74

    Most of the new actors today are throw-aways. They're human stand-ins so that a movie can be called "live-action." The actors aren't the stars anymore, so they don't have to be good actors........and most of them aren't these days. The real star is now CGI and 3-D. If there's a coherent plot, it's a bonus, but usually there isn't.....and there doesn't have to be for the movie to make money.

  • May 28, 2011, 9:43 p.m. CST

    Sounds an awful lot like Oldboy...

    by Immortal_Fish

    ...and I mean that in a positive way. It wouldn't suck to see a few me-too Oldboy retreads.

  • May 28, 2011, 9:43 p.m. CST

    I wonder if he has an exit strategy.

    by pushthebuttonmax

    Probably not. So say we all!

  • May 28, 2011, 10:30 p.m. CST

    one of the story arcs should be called Heavy Mettle

    by SantosLHalper

    send me a paycheck.

  • May 28, 2011, 10:33 p.m. CST

    Nordling forgot the best thing ...

    by oatmeal2348

    Comicpalooza is currently the best thing going right now for those who can't make it to Comic-Con or Dragoncon. The crowds are still small (there were only about 100 people in the room for EJO's announcement), a 3-day pass, bought in advance, only cost $45 dollars. There are constant film screenings, demonstrations, roller derby, quidditch matches ... two more years and they'll probably have to move everything to the ground level at the GRB, but for now it's a great event. Congrats to everyone involved!

  • May 29, 2011, 12:19 a.m. CST

    One of us! Gobble, gobble!

    by MrD

    Just too cool. Usually some actor gets an idea for a superhero, its a horrible idea, but this sounds pretty damn awesome, and a far cry from anything we've been given so far.

  • May 29, 2011, 12:57 a.m. CST

    Eddy Olmos= Class act!

    by jazzylg

    Terrific actor and person. I can't wait to see this. He should've won an Emmy for BSG.

  • May 29, 2011, 1:41 a.m. CST

    Can you say "Direct to video"?

    by krabklaw

  • May 29, 2011, 4:29 a.m. CST

    Krabklaw - on what evidence?

    by irishraidersfan

    Oh, that's right - none, dipshit. How about you wait and see?

  • May 29, 2011, 4:40 a.m. CST

    ironeagle74 , I have a suggestion

    by pw

    Don't go and see it then! There are 100's of films released each year, so I'm sure there is other stuff you will like. Not every film is made with you in mind, man. Unless you really think the world revolves around you and everyone is an actor in your story.

  • May 29, 2011, 4:43 a.m. CST

    immortal_fish eh?

    by pw

    Being like Oldboy is no bad thing at all, but what part of this sounds like Oldboy to you? I don't get it.

  • May 29, 2011, 10:10 a.m. CST

    Edward James Olmos for president

    by Iahael

    Seriously, would anyone around the world ever want to mess with us? Anyway, Eduardo, I am hereby granting you a "People's Emmy" for your amazing performance on BSG. From what I understand, he was able to help out the Cylons with his insights on replicants from Bladerunner; tell me, how can that be beat for cool? T.'.

  • May 29, 2011, 10:15 a.m. CST

    barry it's because

    by PeanutButterSlut

    Eddy is very old, and he has a boy (son). OldBoy clone!1

  • May 29, 2011, 12:05 p.m. CST


    by schulzcreative

    I'm shocked that EJO puts an major emphasis on his superhero being Latino...not really. Didn't Robert Downey Jr. promote Iron Man as being one bitchn' cracker white dude?

  • May 29, 2011, 12:24 p.m. CST

    Awesome... can't wait

    by KHjLL

  • Stupidest thing I have ever heard.I hope this is a comedy.

  • May 29, 2011, 1:56 p.m. CST

    @johnwaynewasgay....I was thinking the same thing.

    by David Ledford

    Plus of course he has to be latino.

  • EJO - as much as I love him, will go to his grave with both of these things still on the shelf. Especially is he is Director/Producer/Star - without a mostly Jewish team behind it, there's no movie. I had a conversation once with Andy Garcia when he was here in Baltimore filming something and he was telling me all about these hispanic lead projects he was about to start making, that was 18 years ago. They don't even let Mexicans play Mexicans in movies like Aliens or more recently Nacho Libre. These ideas are the pipe dream of an old man.

  • May 29, 2011, 2:39 p.m. CST


    by David Ledford

    I don't buy that. Rodriguez makes movies his way because that's the way he prefers it. He would rather make them himself and pass on all of the interference from a studio. But I bet you if he wanted to go big there would be several studios lined up to throw money at him.

  • May 29, 2011, 3:59 p.m. CST

    They mentioned AICN at today's EJO panel

    by DunderMifflinIntern

    and Nordling shouted out "I wrote that". Pretty weird. EJO and the other guy who is writing Mettle went to talk to him. Another comment...DON'T BRING CRYING BABIES TO A CONVENTION.

  • May 29, 2011, 4:41 p.m. CST

    Met Olmos at several functions around L.A.

    by Negative Man

    He always seemed a rather arrogant and self-righteous guy who had no problem looking down his nose at people. Especially if that person dared to even slightly disagree with one of his political opinions. Kind of like talking to a tenured college professor. There's no debating. You're just wrong and they, now being out of touch with real life for years (outside of some charity work and shopping for groceries), know what's best for you.

  • May 29, 2011, 6:07 p.m. CST

    peanutbrittle you clearly have no idea how things work

    by Professor_Monster

    Olmos doing his own stuff is proof he had no one interested in in what he had to offer. If he was truly capable of "getting several studios lined up" then there would have been at least one offering up a first look, option or all out purchase of what he's developing. Seeing how it's him and his son putting fourth all the effort developing something I'm sure he's already shopped, chances are he'll probably survive putting out 3 or 4 issues of his comic and not a chance of a distribution deal from any of the majors to make it a "major motion picture". You have to remember, the only people who view Olmos as a star are Galactica fans. Rodriguez already had deals in place - first with Amy Pascal for Spy Kids, and they had to be kept under a certain amount or no go, then with the Weinstens, and his deal was married to Tarentinos. You should check the budgets on his Spy Kids movies, they're really nothing.

  • May 29, 2011, 8:14 p.m. CST


    by krabklaw

    That's a bit harsh, don't you think? Can't you just state your opinion without resorting to name calling? I guess only time will tell if this project pans out or not as a major theatrical release. In the meantime we have plenty of other superhero movies coming. Anyway, have a nice day.

  • May 29, 2011, 8:16 p.m. CST


    by orryn

    Sounds like a TV movie, or direct to dvd... I don't think EJO can be a lead in a superhero movie

  • May 29, 2011, 9:02 p.m. CST


    by BSB


  • May 29, 2011, 9:04 p.m. CST


    by BSB

    Another case of minority racial pride trumping the most basic of common sense.

  • May 29, 2011, 9:04 p.m. CST

    I'd rather see a "Waderman" movie.

    by alienindisguise

  • May 30, 2011, 1:36 a.m. CST

    Olmos as a superhero. LOL.

    by Alexander Ozuna

    The premise is quite ridiculous and probably won't see the light of day. If you're an investor, would a tale about a Latino Vietnam Vet who is given superpowers by Communists appeal to you especially if that superhero will be played by Eddie Olmos (who is now over 60). I'd be laughing my ass off at the pitch. It sounds horrible.

  • May 30, 2011, 2:28 a.m. CST

    So say we all!

    by Gorgomel

  • May 30, 2011, 2:39 a.m. CST

    He meant his kid alex1176...Jesus reading is fundamental.

    by RobertoInfinite

  • May 30, 2011, 7:33 a.m. CST


    by The Hand Of The Choppah

    Just send your business plan to Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro. Done, and done.

  • May 30, 2011, 7:34 a.m. CST


    by The Hand Of The Choppah

  • May 30, 2011, 9:04 a.m. CST


    by David Ledford

    I said RODRIGUEZ would have studios lined up if he wanted do go big budget. Not Olmos.

  • May 30, 2011, 3:58 p.m. CST


    by D Jones

    While it is true Bob Layton worked and helped create some of the Valiant universe he was not the creator that would be Jim Shooter. I will say Mr. Layton was the best thing to happen to Iron Man and John Romita jr. look how awful Iron Man became after he a Dave Michelinie left and of course Valiant comics fell after Shooter left but anyway get your facts straight Nordling.

  • May 31, 2011, 10:39 a.m. CST

    This will never happen.

    by cookylamoo

  • May 31, 2011, 12:10 p.m. CST

    Oh cool, "Captain American Me". (0:'

    by Stalkeye

    It's about time we see a Hispanic Superhero film, but seriously a title like "Mettle" doesn't sound heroic enough. But I'm digging the concept that sounds more original than some of these comics nowadays. Atleast the origin won't be a cop out like your typical mutant character. (Born this way, anyone?)