Warner Brothers and Disney Aren’t the Only Studios Making Comic Book Movies!
Marvel and DC superhero movies get all the headlines, but did you know there are other comic publishers out there? And they are also making great comics — like Scott Snyder’s Wytches, above — that may make their way to the silver screen? It’s true! Here’s 40 future films from all the other guys you need to know about.
This Radical Publishing comic was originally due out last year, so we’ll see if it happens. We hope it does, though because the premise is pretty great — someone keeps buying real estate where horrible tragedies have happened in order to discover how to make the ultimate haunted house.
Archer & Armstrong
We’ve talked about how great Fred Van Lente’s revival of this Valiant comic is on many occasions; it’s about an immortal lush and the young, religious cult-raised assassin ordered to kill him, and how they become best buds while fighting the Illuminati, dinosaurs, hoboes, and more. Supposedly this will be the third comic Valiant adapts to a movie, although we wouldn’t mind it sooner.
Brian Haberlin’s 2001 scifi Image comic was optioned for a movie almost as soon as it was published. It’s like Predator and The Thing — an alien escapes an even more secret government installation in Antarctica, and stalks the soldiers there. Bad Santa 2 writer Johnny Rosenthal was hired to pen the script in 2012, but that’s the last we’ve heard of it.
Beasts of Burden
If there’s a comic that truly deserves a movie adaptation, Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson’s Beasts of Burden has to be near the top. A group of pets band together to keep their neighborhood safe from supernatural threats — it’s funny, dark, sometimes heartbreaking, and very, very good. Shane Acker, director of 9, was announced to be directing the CG movie back in 2013, but no word since then.
The movie of Charles Burns’ acclaimed coming-of-age horror comic (which was first published by Kitchen Sink, then Fantagraphics) was announced way back in 2005. David Fincher was attached to direct for a while, but it doesn’t seem to be on his to-do list — which is a shame, because he’d be perfect to make a movie about a bunch of teens in the ‘70s who contract an STD that gives then horrifying mutations.
Valiant’s formerly dead, nanotech-infused soldier will be among the first of the publisher’s superheroes brought to film, as was so recently announced. In fact, Sony is so confident that they already have some plans to make a sequel, as well as a crossover movie with Valiant’s other comic-to-movie team Harbinger (see below).
Breath of Bones
30 Days of Night’s Steve Niles wrote this Word War II story about a British pilot who crashes near a Jewish village, where the people have created the legendary Golem to protect them from the Nazis. The movie adaptation was announced in 2014.
As the title suggests, this Dark Horse kids comic is about a half-chicken, half-rabbit who pals around with a turtle yet fights “demonic critters.” Sony Pictures Animation optioned it to make a CG movie back in 2011, but seems to have never even ordered a script written.
One of many, many Mark Millar comics on this list, the recently published Chrononauts is about two science bros who time travel through history, in front of a live studio audience. Universal snagged the rights just last month.
The long, long, long awaited reboot of The Crow seems to have finally picked up some steam, now that Boardwalk Empire’s Jack Huston has been cast as the vengeful make-up enthusiast. But remember, lots of people have been cast as The Crow for the remake, including Bradley Cooper, Luke Evans, Tom Hiddleston, and more. Production is supposedly finally supposed to start this year, so we’ll see.
This vampire comic from Boom Studios has a clever twist — it’s about the humans who take care of the vampires in the day, while they’re asleep. Well, that and the mob war-like battles between vampire clans. Universal got the movie rights in 2013, and hired black list writer Will Simmons to write the script late in 2014, so it should still be on track.
As we’re fond of pointing out, Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s scifi epic Descender was optioned even before the first issue came out, and once you read the Image comic, it’s easy to see why — it’s a tale of a young robot companion and mysterious giant robots from the depths of space, in a far-off future of infinite potential. If there’s one comic on this list that’s mostly likely to get made, I’d put my money on Descender.
Richard Starkings’ long-running Image comic is about genetically modified African animal-human hybrids, who were raised as unquestioning soldiers of a mad scientist; but they were freed, and now live in a society that doesn’t trust them at all. Starkings himself said he was still working on the script, just last year.
Emily the Strange
Young goth girl Emily has been a star of comics and merchandise (lots and lots of merchandise) since Dark Horse debuted her in 1993, and the idea of a CG animated movie has been floating around Hollywood since at least 2005. At the moment, Universal has the rights and Chloe Grace Moretz has been cast as Emily — but she was cast back in 2010, so maybe don’t hold your breath.
Not to be confused with Isaac Asimov’s classic scifi series, Boom Studios’ The Foundation is about an organization — a foundation, if you will — determined to stop Nostradamus’ prophecies from coming true. It’s part of Fox’s development deal with the comic publisher, which includes several other titles, as you’ll see.
This team of super-powered teens is Valiant’s answer to the X-Men, and the second of Valiant’s comic stable to come to movie theaters courtesy of Sony. Like Bloodshot, Sony is already planning on making two Harbinger movies, which will be followed by…
…a crossover movie where Bloodshot, a former hunter of those with Harbinger powers, decides to fight on their behalf. Apparently Sony plans for all four Bloodshot and Harbinger movies to premiere before Wars, so I wouldn’t expect this until 2010 at the earliest.
This epic from Blake Masters and Boom is like a scifi Spartacus — in a future world where corporations have armies of subjugated clones, one soldier escapes and begins a revolution to free all his fellow slaves. Paramount grabbed this in 2012.
Another Mark Millar/Image Comics joint, Jupiter’s Legacy asks “what it would be like to grow up as Wonder Woman and Superman’s kids.” As the comic shows, not great, as the younger generation of superheroes is daunted by the exploits and idealism of their elders. It seems a bit weighty for a superhero movie, but Millar announced he personally is trying to bring this Legacy to the screen just earlier this month.
Zenescope is best-known for their multitude of sexed-up fairy tale comics, but their first title to make it to Hollywood was The Library, a spin-off about two teens who travel to various world through the books of the titular library. Mythology Entertainment is working with the publisher on the adaptation.
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