I either didn’t know or utterly forgot a movie adaptation of Windsor McKay’s early 20th-century comic strip masterpiece (well, minus the racism) Little Nemo in Slumberland was in the works. But thanks to Slumberland’s first teaser, I will never forget it again, thanks to the glorious sight it contains: Jason Momoa as a rock n’ roll Mad Hatter with satyr horns who cackles like a gleeful maniac when narrowly escaping death in WWII-era jets.
Momoa’s Flip is a far cry from the comic’s Flip, who was a green clown determined to mess with Nemo’s dreams. In Slumberland, he seems to be a sort of berserker guide for Nema (Marlow Barkley) after she falls asleep and enters the dream world. If you are somehow mad that the character of Nemo has been gender-swapped and Flip is no longer a clown, I will point out 1) that the movie also doesn’t appear to include Impie, an astonishingly racist caricature of an African native, which is an unequivocally good thing, 2) the teaser doesn’t mention the comic so it’s not even pretending its a straight adaptation, and 3) if you care so much about the integrity of a modern-day adaptation of a comic strip that ended I’d guess, at the very minimum, 40 years before you were born (making you 55), you should truly reexamine your priorities.
I will say that I’m not sure Slumberland will be good, exactly. There are plenty of movies about magical places that turn out not to feel magical in the slightest, and I can easily see this being one of them. But to be fair, those films didn’t have Jason Momoa living his best maniac life, so I won’t count it out yet.
Slumberland also stars Kyle Chandler, Weruche Opia, and Chris O’Dowd, and was directed by Francis Lawrence, who also did the Constantine movie and I Am Legend, in addition to The Hunger Games sequels. It premieres on Netflix on November 18, the Friday before Thanksgiving.
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