Why I Should Write For Hollywood (WISWFH): Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger
While reading Spider-Man comics, I came across the duo of Cloak & Dagger. Though I never came across their comic adventures, like Deathlok, I thought that this was one of Marvel’s properties that could make the easiest transition to film. Below are my 2 (yes, 2!) Cloak & Dagger movie ideas from high school.
Cloak (Tyrone Johnson) is a teenage runaway with a speech impediment, who ran away when he felt guilty that his impediment prevented him from warning someone of danger that led to their death. Dagger (Tandy Bowen) had a neglectful mom and ran away from home as well. They initially meet each other, learn to survive on the streets together, but then become involved with a shady ‘friend’ who kidnaps and experiments on them with drugs. Said drugs at first kills them, then gives them powers.
Cloak found he had access to a dark dimension that increase his hunger for…souls? lives? The Darkness in men’s hearts? Ok, that probably needs clarification for an audience. Anyway, Dagger’s presence of intense light-powers she gained prevents him from acting on his impulses, so now he actually needs Dagger to survive. Dagger has the potential to explode with too much light over time, and Cloak can use his darkness to absorb it, preventing her from hurting people around her. However, Dagger does not need him as much as Cloak needs her, but helps him anyway because they are friends. This is where an interesting dynamic could be explored in a 2nd movie, especially a sequel where he develops an unrequited love for her (like in the comics), but in doing so might push her away.
The theme of drug-addiction should not be dumbed down. Cloak represents a drug-addict that needs help, and Dagger is the friend that tries to put him on the path of recovery and control. In fact, Dagger can not only shoot light-daggers that attack people, but they also remove physical and mental additions in drug users, which Cloak would, over the course of the movie, become really angry about since he doesn’t have such an easy solution to all his problems.
Also, you can’t do this movie without showing a family facing drug addition that Dagger helps them overcome and become a family again. Not just superheros punching each other here.
I always imagined a movie would be very simple; you see how their home like sucks, they run away, meet each other, become friends, then get experimented on, are thoughts to be dead, only to rise up with new powers that work well in tandem together, though only Cloak needs Daggers powers to remain in check. You have a dynamic where only one of them needs the other, which would be very interesting to work with, especially if Dagger contemplates turning home.
In the first movie (yes, 1 of 2), they should be friends only. And this isn’t because Tyron is black and Tandy is white, but because they would need to be established as putting faith and trust in each other first to work together and have revenge on the drug dealers that killed. In addition, every movie is about a guy and a girl falling in love, and they originally start off as friends in the comic, so do that in the movie, which NEVER HAPPENS in Hollywood movies when there is a guy and girl character. Also, they should attempt to travel together to their parent’s home and try to live a normal life, but find they cannot with their powers.
Also, I don’t know any villains they fight, but it should also be a teen run-away (the one that betrayed them) who became the drug dealer that experimented on them but has developed a huge cartel and empire through it. He then uses the experimental drug on himself to become some villain and fight them at the end, Tyrone wants to kill him, and Dagger has to talk him down from his darkness.
In a 2nd movie, you could have Tyron start to develop feelings for Tandy, but she does not return them. In fact, she could start to meet a fellow superhero and fall in love with him, and also learn to control her powers without Cloak, leading Cloak to feel hopeless and alone, and attempt to give more into the darkness. Maybe even evolve his powers somewhat to reflect an ex-drug user who relapse. Dagger, of course, will feel guilty, but Cloak will have to learn that he can’t always rely on her for everything and bring her down with him all the time. In fact, her lover at the time should be slightly accepting of Cloak, but also a little jealous of how much Cloak needs her to survive. Drama! I don’t have more than the first act for this film in my head, though.
So that is my high school Cloak & Dagger movies (before the year 2000)
Recently, in a Spider-Man crossover, Cloak and Dagger switched powers. That would make for an interesting premise, but you would need the foundation of a regular move )or 2!) for it to work. Also, Cloak and Dagger were supposed to have each other;’s powers in the first place, which made them previously weaker, so now, with Cloak having light power, and Dagger with Darkness, they are more powerful, but also more addictive, and now Dagger would need Cloak’s help with the darkness that threatens to want her to consume people’s…souls (or whatever it is his powers do; ok…it’s not very well established what it is, which is necessary for a film to work). Unfortunately, since this happened in the comics 2 years ago, Cloak & Dagger have yet to be seen anywhere to see how they deal with this new development.