Actress Halle Berry was the inspiration for Fox in Mark Millar and J.G. Jones’ original graphic novel Wanted, upon which the 2008 film was based. Eminem’s close likeness was also given a co-starring role in the novel, although neither actress nor musician ended up playing their intended characters on the silver screen.

The Em Connection appears again in Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium (2014), in the role that was eventually offered to Matt Damon. Eminem apparently insisted that Elysium be filmed in Detroit; it was ultimately shot in Mexico City and Vancouver.

What’s more interesting is the way that Damon describes how Blomkamp enticed him into taking the lead:

In late 2010 he met with Damon in a New York diner. “About 15 minutes in, he pulled out what was essentially a homemade graphic novel” of the movie, Damon says. “It absolutely blew my mind.” That book, which also featured detailed illustrations of weaponry and future-tech, was the result of a yearlong back-and-forth between Blomkamp and illustrators from New Zealand effects house Weta and conceptual artist Doug Williams. The look of the film hews closely to those drawings. “I talked to Jim Cameron about Avatar early on,” Damon says, “and what struck me about Neill was the same thing that struck me about Cameron: The world had already been created. It existed in their minds.”

The Eminem Connection isn’t an issue of whether Halle Berry would have been a better Fox in Wanted, or if Em could have carried Elysium on his shoulders. Notice the powerful impact a graphic novel can have when communicating visual ideas (you may also remember the prior entry that inspired this one). From Neill Blomkamp’s “homemade” concept art to the completed work of Wanted, the humble ‘comic book’ format has grown as a unique platform that easily stands on its own.