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Plastic Man feature in development at Warner Brothers

We all know the Man of Steel; now, get ready for the Man of Plastic.

Iconic DC Comics character Plastic Man is headed to the DCEU, with his own solo flick in the development stage at Warner Brothers. Sophomore scribe Amanda Idoko has been tapped to pen the script, according to The Hollywood Reporter. New Line Pictures co-founder Bob Shaye, whose mile-long list of credits includes the entirety of the Nightmare on Elm Street and Lord of the Rings series, is set to executive produce.

Long one of the zaniest characters in DC's stable, Plastic Man is the alter-ego of Patrick O'Brian, an ex-hoodlum and burglar whose life takes a turn for the weird during an attempted robbery at a chemical plant. When the job goes south, O'Brian is doused by the contents of one of those ever-present vats of mysterious chemicals during his gang's escape, and subsequently finds himself endowed with the ability to contort his body into any imaginable form. The character originated at Quality Comics in the 1940's before being acquired by DC in 1956, and has made sporadic appearances in the mainstream DC continuity since, serving time in the Justice League and even briefly holding down a solo series in the '60s.

Following DC's mid-'80s Crisis on Infinite Earths event, the character underwent a slight revamp, and his origin story was retconned to include the involvement of Batman (who rescued him from that vat of chemicals). He thus became a staunch ally of the Justice League, with his unique abilities making him a valuable asset to the team even as he provides regular doses of comic relief.

Although the project does not yet have an official green light, the announcement comes on the heels of Warner Brothers' six-month search for a writer who the studio felt could preserve the character's overtly comic tone in the service of a big-budget superhero picture. Idoko won the job largely on the strength of her screenplay for Breaking News in Yuba County, which was sold to ACG Studios at this year's American Film Market. The comedy feature, set to star Laura Dern and Allison Janney, while be directed by Tate Taylor (The Help, The Girl on the Train); it is set to begin shooting early next year.

There's no word on what direction Idoko's script will take, but owing to the character's traditionally comedic bent (no pun intended), the news has already prompted speculation that bringing Plastic Man into the DCEU could effectively serve as an answer to Marvel's Deadpool. That character's 2016 starring vehicle and this year's sequel proved that superhero comedies could rake in big box office dollars, a lesson which Warner Brothers appears to have taken to heart. The recent trailer and teaser poster for next year's Shazam!, which will be the next DCEU entry after the rapidly approaching Aquaman, both indicated that that picture will aim straight for the funny bone — and with the addition of Plastic Man to the slate, it looks like the studio is doubling down on that approach. It's a complete reversal of the dour and straight-faced tone that earned inaugural entries Man of Steel and Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice harsh rebukes from fans and critics alike, and if you ask us, it couldn't be more welcome.

The project is still in early development; we'll be here to report additional details as soon as they become available.