In the Channel Awesome web series Atop The Fourth Wall, the show’s creator, Lewis Lovhaug aka Linkara, reviews mostly bad comic books, (the tagline for the show is “where bad comics burn”) in-between story segments involving robots, time travel, alternate dimensions and magic. Here, Linkara tells us what to expect from the upcoming movie adaptation of the show.
A Place to Hang Your Cape: Congratulations on the Atop The Fourth Wall Movie, which is now in-post production. I trust that filming went smoothly?
Linkara: Yep, went just fine!
AP2HYC: What was it like directing your first feature? Did your experience of making all the videos for Atop the Fourth Wall make you well-prepared for the transition to being a movie director?
L: It’s really no different than directing others when I do the show, except now it’s more people and more camera angles. I’m still just as poorly organized and relying on everyone else’s better ideas than mine.
AP2HYC: How much of a challenge was it to balance making the film along with getting episodes of the show finished on time?
L: Wasn’t really able to, sadly. The original plan was to have episodes completed before the movie was filmed, but that fell apart quickly after I got sick for a few days before filming. I recovered in time, but it screwed up my production schedule so that I missed another day, but I made up for it by having an episode made very quickly later in the week.
AP2HYC: Can you give an overview of the plot of the film? I understand that it involves a trip to Jupiter?
L: Allen, Linkara’s government liaison, asks him to investigate why the first manned trip to Jupiter (aside from the ones during To Boldly Flee, anyway), has suddenly gone completely silent. Along the way, he has to deal with his own personal issues as he realizes he’s getting older and most of his life consists of doing insane things like going out into space to investigate a crew of astronauts going quiet.
AP2HYC: Will we see familiar characters like the ‘90s Kid?
L: Most definitely! 90s Kid and Harvey Finevoice are major characters, mostly interacting with the other video producers in their own subplots.
AP2HYC: In Atop the Fourth Wall you of course play a fictionalised version of yourself. For the film, were there more dramatic elements that proved to be a challenge acting-wise?
L: I don’t want to get too into it, buuut there’s a scene in the middle of the movie that gets pretty intense. I don’t want to pretend that I’m some grand actor or something, but I think I pulled it off pretty well.
AP2HYC: The budget of the film will be considerably bigger than that of the show because of your successful Indiegogo campaign. So can we expect Hollywood style effects and action?
L: HA! Oh, I wish. The majority of the budget went into stuff like set construction and the studio we filmed at. This stuff isn’t cheap, sadly, so I’m just thankful we were so successful in the campaign. Other money went into transportation, housing, and feeding the cast for ten days of shooting.
AP2HYC: And needless to say that fans of the series will love the film?
L: I certainly hope so!
AP2HYC: Will the film reference some of the more well-known aspects of the show, such as your dislike for the works of Frank Miller?
L: Most definitely. It’s about Linkara as a reviewer and how he feels about doing some silly internet review series about comics when there’s so much else out there in his world.
AP2HYC: Will your friend Doug Walker aka The Nostalgia Critic make an appearance?
L: Yep! Doug will make three different cameos as different characters, one of which is as the Nostalgia Critic (mostly to explain why some producers are in the movie and others aren’t).
AP2HYC: Can you talk about the rest of the cast? Will there be a lot of familiar faces from Channel Awesome?
L: Yep! While two of the cast are no longer Channel Awesome producers, they have been at one time or another – Obscurus Lupa and Lanipator. We also have Nash, the Cinema Snob, MarzGurl, and Angry Joe around. And these are all fantastic actors with a great sense of comedic timing, dramatic delivery, or just being charismatic and entertaining in one way or another. I fully expect people in the comments to be arguing about who stole what scene from the others.
AP2HYC: Do you know when the move will be released? Can we expect a theatrical release of any kind?
L: We’re hoping for an October release, with the DVD released in time for Christmas. Theatrical release? Ha! Hardly. Aside from not having any budget for distribution, the movie is very much for a niche audience. I’ve had several of my friends, film buffs and low-budget filmmakers themselves saying I should be trying to get it shown at local theatres, but I doubt there’d be enough of an audience to justify it.
AP2HYC: And what about a sequel?
L: A sequel is certainly a possibility. I have ideas that I can do with that, but I want to have ONE successful movie before I try to do anything more.
AP2HYC: Along with everyone else, I really hope that Atop the Fourth Wall never ends. Where do you see the show in twenty years’ time?
L: Hopefully still doing it! I love doing the show and I see no reason to ever stop doing it. As long as the fans keep watching and I can continue to put out material, hopefully I never will!
AP2HYC: What do you think of the current trend of comic book movies in Hollywood? Where do you see it going?
L: See, the thing is I think people need to make a distinction between “comic book movies” and “superhero movies.” Comic book movies are actual adaptations of comic storylines, which you see more of in terms of independent works like Kick-Ass, Ghost World, A History of Violence, etc. However, you don’t see a lot of adaptation of superhero storylines into movies, usually doing their own thing. The closest I think we’ve seen in recent years is Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which takes the story in its own direction as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the plot with the Winter Soldier is almost straight out of the comics, minus some elements here or there. Avengers: Age of Ultron takes its name from the comics, but otherwise has nothing to do with the Age of Ultron in comics, which involves time travel, alternate timelines, the ultimate universe versions of characters, and just lots of other weirdness. Where do I see it going? Not a clue. Hell, I didn’t foresee a cinematic universe at all until the last few years. Seemed like it’d be too difficult with studio rights and whatnot, but now the sky’s the limit.
AP2HYC: Okay, this question seems like kind-of a no-brainer, but will you be buying Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight III: The Master Race?
L: Not right away. I really have no desire to directly support anything Frank Miller creates, so when I eventually get it, it’ll be secondhand. Hell, my copy of Holy Terror that I used for the 300th episode? Got it for $2 on Amazon, used.
AP2HYC: And lastly, you regularly make appearances at conventions. Any chance of appearing at one here in the UK?
L: I’d love to go to a UK convention! Buuut the problem is that I would need to be invited. I was put on a shortlist for a fundraiser for Alcon this year for extra people, but no idea if anything has come of it yet.
Are you a fan of Atop the Fourth Wall? Are you excited to check out the film adaptation? Let us know what you think in the comments or on Twitter!