Featured Attractions

Monday, March 9, 2015

Howard the Duck

In 1985, George Lucas decided to take a chance on a little known comic book character from Marvel Comics called "Howard the Duck" and produce a big budget film featuring the character who would be represented as a man in a duck suit interacting with a world he was thrust into.

Howard had already caused a few problems for Marvel Comics; Disney felt he looked too much like Donald Duck and Marvel had to alter him somewhat. Lucas would have to be careful with Howard's design and also figure out how to translate the duck to the big screen.

The result was a box office disaster- a film whose mere mention became 1980's shorthand for a disastrous film. In fact, the film almost poisoned the well for any movie that showed a mix of characters from different worlds- like 1988's Who Framed Roger Rabbit, which gained bad early publicity for Disney when movie critics who hadn't seen the film compared it to Howard the Duck. Disney was able to overcome the stigma by releasing a movie that was sweet and believable compared to the crass and ridiculous Howard the Duck

Flash Forward to today. Both Marvel and Lucasfilm are now owned by The Walt Disney Company. Marvel has been releasing hit after hit. Could a successful Howard the Duck film be in the offing? With Marvel making billions out of unknown characters and series, it could happen. When Howard the Duck appeared at the very end of Guardians of the Galaxy, it almost seemed like a certainty.