In a media landscape where reboots and sequels are the norms, it has become increasingly rare for an actor to be given the opportunity to adapt a known character to live-action for the first time.
Michael Rowe (Arrow, The Flash) has been given one such opportunity. He’s about the bring Ninjak to live-action for the very first time in Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe, the new Valiant Digital series announced at New York Comic Con. During a visit to the set of Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe, ComicBook.com spoke to Rowe about bringing Ninjak to life.
“I didn't want to do an impression of a character,” Rowe says. “Those characters have been played before. This is the first time I've had the opportunity to absolutely be the first to bring it to life.
“I dug in so hard to the comics to do it. I did the opposite of whatever I did before,” Rowe continued, referencing his time playing Deadshot on The CW. “I just looked at origin stories before and just worked with whatever the script gave me, but for this one I read almost the whole catalog to get ready for the role.
“I'm really honored that I get to bring this guy to life for the first time. I think I only got the job because of my hair. They keep telling me it was other things. He says everything people think and don't say. He's got that right amount of humor and that sort of asshole quality that I find attractive in characters. He's an amalgamation of if Batman, and Bruce Lee, and James Bond had a baby with MacGyver and the Fonz.”
However, when you’re playing a character who is a cool super spy, martial artist, superhero, ninja it must be difficult to live up to the legend. Rowe says it's all in drawing from his own life experience, and not trying too hard.
“You got to take it seriously,” Rowe says. “You got to live it. You can't play it. I feel like I know this guy. I had a full career in music and touring bands. We met a lot of different people in a short amount of time. I've lived a lot of life for somebody my age.
“The least cool thing to do is to try to be cool. I'm actually just trying to find the real moments for this guy, and not looking for anybody's approval in the way I'm playing these scenes. He's got a selfish sense of humor. He's not doing it for anybody. I'm not playing the character for any specific audience. I'm just playing for what I want out of this.
“People are going to love it or hate it. I think that's fine as long as people don’t just not care about it. That's how you lose at that. I'm just trying to make specific choices and just stick to it. We'll see what people like.”
While on set, Rowe also shared his thoughts about
In Ninjak Colin King is Ninjak, MI-6’s deadliest intelligence operative, and weapons expert. When the ruthless assassin Roku exploits his greatest weakness, Ninjak will be forced to betray his closest allies. Now, on the run, he must face off against the most powerful heroes known to man for a high-octane, take-no-prisoners trial by fire more perilous and more unpredictable than any he’s faced before. In 2017, the world’s most dangerous super-spy goes to war with the Valiant Universe…
Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe is produced by Aaron & Sean Schoenke of Bat in the Sun Productions (Super Power Beat Down) and written by Aaron Schoenke, Sean Schoenke, and Joe Harris. Ninjak Vs. The Valiant Universe stars Michael Rowe (Arrow, The Flash) as Colin King, a.k.a. Ninjak; Jason David Frank (Power Rangers) as Bloodshot; John Morrison (WWE, Lucha Underground) as the Eternal Warrior; Chantelle Barry (90210, Entourage) as Roku; Kevin Porter (Dodgeball) as Armstrong; Ciera Foster (Two and a Half Men) as Livewire, and Derek Theler (Baby Daddy) as X-O Manowar.. The series will be produced by Dinesh Shamdasani, Josh Johns, and Gavin Cuneo for Valiant Entertainment.
Ninjak vs. the Valiant releases online in 2017.