While there hasn’t been any news about a female superhero solo film from Fox yet, it is heartwarming to see fans being enthusiastic about the idea, especially when it comes to Storm from the X-Men. I got to talk to Maya Glick about her fan-made Storm film RAIN. Check out our exclusive interview to know more!
Storm has been criminally underused in the X-Men film series compared to her comic book counterpart, and that is why I was glad to know about the route Maya was taking with Ororo Munroe in RAIN and why the project was personal to her.
When did you first get to know about Storm? What did you love about the character?
I knew about Storm when I was a kid even though no one close to me was into comic books. I knew that there was an African female superhero, and that’s a pretty important thing to know even if you’re not following along…but when I first saw her she didn’t hold my attention because in her “classic” costume I never liked how she was drawn or what she was wearing. Female superheroes in overly sexy swimwear and high-heeled boots just never look very comfortable to me. I guess my thinking was that if you can’t be comfortable in your clothes, then how are you going to kick any ass? So I mostly ignored her…till I saw her with the mohawk and the leather get-up. Then I fell completely and permanently in love.
What’s your favorite version of Storm?
I didn’t follow the animated series much, and she has hardly been given enough screen time at this point to care much about her there, so I’d have to say comic books. Certain eras of the classics are great and the recent Storm solo series by Greg Pak, drawn by Victor Ibanez, was pretty awesome too.
How important is Storm as a character in current media?
I think she’s enjoying a little resurgence in popularity recently, which is nice to see. There is a wave of recognition that different characters and different KINDS of characters deserve to have films as well, as opposed to just seeing Batman and Superman over and over again, and being the prominent black female superhero of course her name pops up as an example of the antithesis of all that. But there is still some resistance. I was reading a story about her recently where a commenter left a remark that Storm is nothing more than Black Panther’s arm-candy and nobody cares about her story. I know, I should never read the comments but I slipped. Just people being of course, but it’s still out there; otherwise she’d have her own film by now.
What’s your favorite Storm story?
The Storm story that’s closest to my heart is easily the Life-Death story, and you’ll get to see some Easter egg references to it in my film. A couple years ago I was dealing with major depression after a devastating tragedy, and I rediscovered that story during that time. In Life-Death, the story opens with Ororo also dealing with depression and hopelessness because she lost her powers and doesn’t know how to feel without them. She figures it out of course, but at the time it was very touching for me to be able to live through those dark moments “with” her, knowing she would rise again someday.
What made you want to make a fan-film about Storm called RAIN?
I had never done any work in film at all really (other than being part of a couple documentaries at different times during my life as a musician) but I have always been a writer. I had been playing with this story on and off for a while – also during that dark period of my life I mentioned before – and originally it didn’t have anything to do with Storm, it was just something I was writing….but because I was so obsessed with Life-Death at the time, she was just kind of living in my head I guess, and she ended up taking over in a way I didn’t have much control over. So, it wasn’t like one day I thought “I’m going to write a fan film”…it just kind of happened. Of course it was probably fueled by the fact that I had never really been satisfied by the amount and quality of screen time Storm has gotten over the years on the big screen. I’m a big nerd for comic book movies, but after a while they started to bore me because they all end up being the same character after a while. Iron Man, Batman, Spider-Man, Superman, even Ant-Man! As an artist, I tend to fill the voids I notice with whatever I personally would want to see. And there is a massive void where women, black women in particular, could be represented on screen. Things are slowly turning around in the past couple of years, but when I started out on the RAIN journey, the void was immense. That’s why so many people responded so powerfully to the idea and we were able to get it crowdfunded.
What can you tell us about RAIN? What kind of Storm will we see in it?
It’s strongly influenced by Life-Death so even though it’s not that same story, some of the tone is similar…at least for the first part. She starts off at a very low point and has to figure things out in order to save herself. There is darkness and it gets pretty emotional, but there’s also plenty of ass kicking and badassery. I don’t want to give too much away but I’m really excited for people to see it!
How has the fan reaction been to RAIN till now?
Everybody has been so beautifully supportive, and more importantly: patient! This process has taken WAY longer than I think any of us expected it to, in large part because the production value is so incredible but no one is being paid. We want to get it done, but we also want to get it right. There is some incredible talent working on the VFX and the score as we speak. Our backers and supporters are being so awesome about hanging in there and waiting through the painfully slow production process with us which means the world to me. As an artist sometimes it can be frustrating to the point of physical pain to not have control over when your creation will finally come to life. It’s like being pregnant, being in labor, and not knowing when the baby will be born! But when I am feeling that pain, I am reminded of how much support we’ve gotten for this film, how amazingly generous and kind the fans have been and it brightens my spirit and keeps me going. A lot of people are looking VERY forward to this film, so I’m okay with taking time to get it exactly right, so that it’s worth the wait for everyone.
When can fans expect RAIN? It also got featured in Fanarchy? What can you tell us about that?
Donna Davies is the filmmaker behind Fanarchy and she has been so supportive throughout my whole process. Donna is a legit filmmaker and I was just some geek with a dream at the time, but she always made me feel so important and she actually valued what I had to say. I did my first interview with her for Fanarchy before I had even met my director Zane Rutledge and the rest of my team. They were in town from Canada to interview a couple other folks and do some filming at the Wizard World comic con here in Austin so they arranged to talk to me too.
It’s a documentary about fan films and the culture of geek fandom in general and RAIN ended up being featured in it pretty heavily which says a lot considering it isn’t even finished yet! Fanarchy debuted on Epix and should be on Netflix in a couple of months.
I don’t have an idea of release date yet but I am hoping it will be complete by the end of the summer. That is just my hope though, and things change around quickly and often. A lot of great folks have come together to make RAIN into something really special, but our budget was small so those folks aren’t getting paid, which means that RAIN gets delayed a bit each time other gigs come up. But we are truly close. I have seen a recent edit and it gives me chills. It is going to blow minds like a hurricane for real!
I don’t know about you all but I am very excited to see RAIN. While Fox has more female superheroes compared to both DC and Marvel films, the fact that the studio hasn’t announced a solo female superhero film troubles me. Maybe Fox will make a decision once Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel hit the big screen? Even Halle Berry urged fans to let Fox know they need a Storm solo film.
What are your thoughts about RAIN? Will you check it out? Should Storm get her own solo-film? Let us know!
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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