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The Surprising Comic Book Origins of Marry Me – CBR – Comic Book Resources

In the latest Comic Book Legends Revealed, learn the interesting series of events that saw the indie comic, Marry Me, turn into a major motion picture
In the latest Comic Book Legends Revealed, learn the interesting series of events that saw the indie comic, Marry Me, turn into a major motion picture
Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the eight hundred and twenty-seventh installment where we examine three comic book legends and determine whether they are true or false. As usual, there will be three posts, one for each of the three legends. Click here for the first part of this installment’s legends.
NOTE: If my Twitter page hits 5,000 followers, I’ll do a bonus edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed that week. Great deal, right? So go follow my Twitter page, Brian_Cronin!
A chance comic-con meeting led to a movie option years later of an indie graphic novel
True
The treatment of comic books and graphic novels has obviously come a long way over the years and honestly, the fact that a non-genre film has a comic book origin is not quite the interesting detail that it once was, especially not after films such as Blue Is the Warmest Colour, Extraction, Road to Perdition, My Friend Dahmer and Time Cop have all been released based on comic books (okay, Time Cop is technically a genre film, but it’s still not as well known as being based on a comic book, so I’m still counting it). However, the WAY that Bobby Crosby’s Marry Me (with art by Remy “Eisu” Mokhtar) was adapted still struck me as interesting enough to spotlight as a comic book legend.
The film stars Jennifer Lopez as a pop singer who was set to marry her pop star fiancée in a live wedding ceremony/concert to celebrate their hit single, “Marry Me,” but plans change when she discovers right before the concert/ceremony that her fiancée has been cheating on her with her assistant. In a bit of a daze, she decides to marry a single father in the audience (played by Owen Wilson) who happened to be holding a sign from his daughter with the name of the song “Marry Me” on it and hilarity ensues (and perhaps a legit romance!).
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First off, the fact that Marry Me is the first live action film adaptation of a WEBCOMIC is, in and of itself, interesting. It is almost surprising that it has taken this long, honestly.
In any event, it was way back in 2001 that Bobby Crosby was watching a concert on TV and saw the famous sign that eventually drove the plot of Marry Me, which is fans holding signs asking the singer to marry them. Crosby was struck with the great “What if?” of “What if a singer said yes?”
That was the genesis of what would come to become Marry Me, which launched as a webcomic on Valentine’s Day, 2007, a full FIFTEEN YEARS before the movie was released. Amusingly, though, Crosby always knew that the project seemed perfect for a movie, as the original website (which, today, sends you to the comic’s website) was MarryMeMovie.com.
As Crosby recalled recetly, “there was always a great reaction” whenever people heard him describe the plot of the comic. He added, “They could just see the movie.”
Crosby had a number of offers over the years, including one pitch relatively early on that would have involved flipping the genders of the main characters and having Justin Timberlake play the singer who marries a fan with a “Marry Me” sign. Crosby turned that one down. However, there was always one person who was in Crosby’s ear in those early days, someone who just came across the comic by happenstance.
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The other week, John Rogers (former writer on Blue Beetle for DC), who ultimately adapted the film, tweeted, “Your occasional reminder that MARRY ME starring Jennifer Lopez and Owen Wilson happened because I saw a physical copy of the indie comic on a folding table in the San Diego Comic-Con in 2008. So,you know, finish your damn comic. Or whatever you make. Make it.”
The amazing thing is that Crosby then replied to Rogers’ tweet by both noting, “Sometimes it takes a while to get a movie made! Everybody go see #MarryMeMovie this weekend!” and then adding the very original e-mail he had received from Rogers about the comic book (which came months after the chance meeting with Rogers at the San Diego Comic-Con a few months earlier!
Crosby recalled the Rogers SDCC incident, noting that they met when Rogers was “walking by my San Diego Comic-Con booth in 2008 or 2009… and [saying] ‘Hey, what’s this?’”
Even with that, it wasn’t until 2012 that Rogers (perhaps best known for the TV series Leverage and The Librarian and for co-writing the first live action Transfomers film, but in the world of comics, Rogers also did work for BOOM! and a Dungeons and Dragons series for IDW) actually optioned the film and eventually Jennifer Lopez became attached and the rest was history…well…EVENTUAL history, that is, as it still took quite a long time for the film to actually come out.
Of course, part of the move to having Jennifer Lopez star in the film is that the plot of the story had to be altered (as Lopez is a good deal older than the original lead character of Marry Me and when you age up the characters then you end up adding in new characters like a tween daughter, but the basic concept of the original story is still very much the idea of the film).
Crosby added recently, “A lot of stories are just remakes. And I’m glad [this movie] is based on something… A somewhat obscure webcomic. It feels a lot more original than most movies Hollywood is making nowadays. So I like that… especially that it’s mine.”
Thanks to John Rogers, Bobby Crosby and Megan Stone (for the Crosby quotes) for the great information about a fun journey from comic to film!
In the latest TV Legends Revealed – How did a Strawberry Shortcake animated TV movie in 1980 help to change children’s television forever?
Check back soon for part 3 of this installment’s legends!
Feel free to send suggestions for future comic legends to me at either cronb01@aol.com or brianc@cbr.com
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CBR Senior Writer Brian Cronin has been writing professionally about comic books for over fifteen years now at CBR (primarily with his “Comics Should Be Good” series of columns, including Comic Book Legends Revealed). He has written two books about comics for Penguin-Random House – Was Superman a Spy? And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed and Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? And Other Amazing Comic Book Trivia! and one book, 100 Things X-Men Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die, from Triumph Books. His writing has been featured at ESPN.com, the Los Angeles Times, About.com, the Huffington Post and Gizmodo. He features legends about entertainment and sports at his website, Legends Revealed and other pop culture features at Pop Culture References. Follow him on Twitter at @Brian_Cronin and feel free to e-mail him suggestions for stories about comic books that you’d like to see featured at brianc@cbr.com!

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