by Christian Duque
“Thoughts become things,” that’s the line Kai Greene used and put next to a recent photo on his Instagram. In the photo, he’s leaning against the Marvel sign. In terms of comic books, cartoons, animation, Marvel is perhaps the biggest fish in the pond. Greene, who has appeared on the Netflix series Stranger Things on Netflix, is someone who appreciates sci-fi and imaginative roles.
Just one look at his posing routines on stage, his outfits, and the way he moves, you can tell that he’s a person blessed with creativity. Kai has also made a very strong career for himself outside of bodybuilding. Whereas a lot of guys depend on the stage and supplement contracts, Greene hasn’t been on the Olympia stage in five years, yet he remains as relevant as ever. He’s not relevant because of drama, mudslinging, or controversial statements. He’s relevant because he works his butt of, tours the world, and makes a lot of people a lot of money, including himself. So the question is, what does “thoughts become things,” mean? If we were talking about just about anyone else, then this could be nothing but hot air, but Kai has done it all, from podcasts to e-books to appearing on major motion films (e.g. Generation Iron). If Kai Greene became a comic book character or superhero, that would have open a whole new level of interest from mainstream culture in bodybuilding, it could also lead into movie roles, but it could also be one more factor that distances him from the stage.
The mainstream public remains largely in the dark about bodybuilding, With the death of the magazines, people no longer see the giants on the front covers of magazines they don’t buy. Nonetheless, years ago, there was still that glance, that minimal interaction. With the advent of Barnes and Noble and Borders’ stance on letting patrons read magazines without buying them, I suspect that that interaction allowed at least for some grasp of the sport. Also, when bodybuilding was on Fox Sports and ESPN, this brought bodybuilding into people’s homes. The last time the networks tried to do this, was 2014, where Phil Heath and Kai Greene nearly came to blows. There’s really very little connection today between the mainstream and physique-based sports. Of course, there’s the internet, but folks know exactly where they want to go, in terms of urls, search engines, and social media. No one just stumbles onto a totally unrelated topic and then decides to stay. If Kai Greene’s Predator persona, for example, became a superhero like Batman, Superman, or The Thing, kids, adolescents, and adult comic book enthusiasts would want to learn more about their hero. They’d be shocked to realize that the artist did very little work. Unlike other superheros (many of which are fictitious), artists have to create larger than life physiques, but with Greene the work is already done. If there’s ever a Comicon where Kai appears, he wouldn’t be in a silly jumpsuit like all the others, his muscles would be his uniform, people marvel at that – pun intended.
With regards, to film, comic books are the starting phase, much live novels are, for future movies. A comic featuring one of the greatest bodybuilders of our time, who also happens to act very well, would be an instant goldmine. The best part of all, is that Kai’s “character” would be his natural self. He’s known to think deeply, to get philosophical, but also to be bold when necessary. He’s often taken athletes aside for heart to heart chats, whether they last a few seconds to half an hour. There could be a thousand people watching – it simply doesn’t matter – Kai is able to zone everything and everyone out. He’d also be a great role model for bullied kids, kids from broken homes, and anyone looking for the courage to pursue their dreams. In some regards, never winning the Mr. Olympia, gives him the kind of edge that makes him credible. He’s a powerhouse, but he’s also an underdog. America loves the underdog, but they really love the guy who gives it his all and still, can’t make it. That being said, Kai may never have made it, terms of winning a Sandow, but he’s made it in many other walks of life. Whenever he goes overseas, from Europe to India to China, people go absolutely nuts for him. His entourage gets mobbed, but he always makes time for the fans. In a very real way, Kai has followed in Jay Cutler’s and Ronnie Coleman’s footsteps in that regard. Very few bodybuilders are as good to the fans, as Kai Greene is, and those fans reward that buy purchasing his supplements, watching his movies, buying his e-books and attending all his seminars.
For bodybuilding fans, everything Kai does is great. They respect the man and have come to respect his many different talents; however, every bodybuilding fan wants to see The Predator come back to the stage. He’s had special invitations, he’s been implored by the press, and earlier this year he met with Dan Solomon of Mr. Olympia LLC in New York City – a meeting which he made public, just like this photo of him leaning on the Marvel sign at their offices. If thoughts become things, maybe we’ll see Greene compete again, maybe we’ll see him grace the cover of his very own comic book series. When comes to possibilities – anything can happen, but one thing’s wishful thinking and another is reality. Kai has a made a lot of money and reinvented himself a number of times. Each new chapter of his life brings new challenges and earns him more fans and friends. Take a look at Lou Ferrigno – the example which always comes to mind when discussing Kai. Lou loved bodybuilding more than anything else (at one point in his life), but when he discovered acting, it took well over fifteen years for him to come back to the Olympia stage. Bodybuilding was also very different back then, there was far less competition, it was far less stressful, and by the time Lou returned he was already much older. In many ways, Lou Ferrigno returned, largely, for fun, but if Kai returned, he would have to win or at least battle to win. His legacy would be tarnished if he returned, just for fun, and placed outside the Top 6.
In conclusion, “thoughts become things,” but in what context, what time frame? I guess, as with anything dealing with Kai Greene, we just have to wait and see. I hope you enjoyed reading this article, here at Iron Magazine. I look forward to reading your comments.