Paramount Pictures has acquired the rights to turn the Valiant Comics’ series Harbinger into a live-action feature film that will be directed by Brett Ratner.
Ratner, who directed X-Men: The Last Stand, was looking for an opportunity to start a superhero film franchise from scratch and has been a fan of the Harbinger comic book since its original release in 1992.
Valiant Comics is being relaunched by Valiant Entertainment, a privately financed company headed by CEO Jason Kothari and Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani. Valiant Comics developed a very large following in the 1990s by launching superhero franchises that had interconnected storylines. At its peak, Valiant gained a market share identical to DC Comics, owner of Batman and Superman, and was named Publisher of the Year ahead of current industry leaders Marvel Comics and DC Comics. Valiant Comics was sold to video game company Acclaim Entertainment in 1994 for $65 million and has sold 80 million comic books and 8 million video games.
Kothari’s group bought the Valiant library last year from Acclaim Entertainment and formed Valiant Entertainment. Valiant’s plan is to bring the popular characters to life in film and television. They signed with William Morris Agency to make film and television deals for the franchises.
“We are delighted to be working with leading partners in Paramount Pictures and director Brett Ratner on Valiant’s first film deal. The future for Valiant’s library of superhero franchises in film and other mass media is very bright,” said Jason Kothari, CEO of Valiant Entertainment.
Created by former Marvel Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter, the Harbinger comic book series was a hit in the 1990s, selling over five million comic books and was named Comic Book of the Decade.
Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani said, “Brett Ratner is the ideal choice to bring ‘Harbinger’ to life on the big screen, as he is not only one of Hollywood’s hottest directors but has been a fan of Valiant Comics for many years.”
Alexandra Milchan will produce with Brett Ratner and Jay Stern. Jason Kothari and Dinesh Shamdasani will co-produce. The project may be branded under the MTV Films banner.