New Brunswick — Acadieman is returning to television — sort of. Online video provider Netflix has announced they’re purchasing the rights to the New Brunswick-based character, and are planing a series reboot.
Starting in 2005, the animated show Acadieman had a 3-season stint on Rogers TV (both English and French channels) in New Brunswick. The title character, billed as the “first Acadian superhero,” gained his strength from drinking coffee, and worked in a call centre, speaking Chiac and hanging out with friends like a mutated crab.
Very few of those aspects will remain in Netflix’s reboot of the show, said Netflix programming director Cleo Marshall.
“Acadieman is getting a dark, gritty reboot,” Marshall said. “We’ve ditched the flag-emblazoned T-shirt, the flying hat, the beer gut. It’s all gone.”
Instead of the relaxed garb that Acadieman traditionally donned while fighting such enemies as tourism, the job market or his own mother, he’ll instead be wearing a black costume that Marshall says shows off “his bulging biceps, his chiselled 6-pack, and will even include rubber nipples on his pecs, just like that Batman movie.”
In keeping with the revamp, Acadieman will no longer draw his strength from coffee, but will instead gain his superpowers after being bathed in gamma rays while sneaking through a military experiment in order to take a shortcut to a poutine shop.
Marshall says the reboot might sound odd at first, but the time is right for the move.
“Point 1: the recent Daredevil release shows there’s a market for superhero programming through Netflix,” she said. “Point 2: we had to do something to address the rapidly growing Chiac-speaking market. And, Point 3: everyone knows if you’re rebooting a superhero, you have to make him gritty and dark. As such, we’re working hard on a tortured backstory for Acadieman that includes the death of his parents, as well as his Uncle Benoit.”
While some Acadieman fans welcomed the announcement, others said they worry about the changes Netflix says are coming.
“There’s no way the big-city executives at Netflix will get this right,” said Jerome Doucette, a comic book enthusiast who lives in his parents’ basement in Moncton. “What about Acadieman’s heritage? He was the first character to spread the knowledge of Chiac outside New Brunswick, to the huge Canadian audience for independent comic books. Before we know it, they’ll probably include subtitles, so monolinguals know what he’s saying.”