With Valiant Comics returning to prominence this year–their new “X-O Manowar” series premieres in May–it was only a matter of time before the popular characters from the comics line created by publisher Jim Shooter in 1992 would start seeing some possible movement on the movie front.
Now, Sony’s Columbia Pictures and Neal Moritz’s Original Film (The Green Hornet) have teamed to acquire the rights to make a movie based on the Valiant Comics series, Bloodshot, a deal that came out of the purchase of a spec script by Jeff Wadlow (writer/director of Cry_Wolf).
The Bloodshot character was the results of experimentation on mob assasin Angelo Mortalli, who was forced into an experimental procedure where his body was injected with nanites that enhanced his strength and skills but erased his memory in the process.
Bloodshot was introduced in 1994 during comics’ “grim and gritty” phase where characters like Marvel’s The Punisher and Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns” were dominant with Bloodshot #1 becoming one of the highest-selling comics in Valiant Comics history with a reported 900,000 copies sold. After buying Valiant, Acclaim Entertainment were developing a video game based on the Bloodshot character but that was eventually scrapped. Valiant Entertainment plan on bringing the character back to comics later this year.
At one point, X-Men: First Class and Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughn was developing a movie based on Bloodshot, but he’s no longer a part of the equation in bringing Bloodshot to the screen, even though he did mention Wadlow’s script when we spoke to the director last year.
Here is the official press release from Sony:
Columbia Pictures is closing a deal to acquire the rights to adapt Bloodshot, the bestselling Valiant comic book character, into a feature film to be produced by Neal H. Moritz through his Original Film banner and Jason Kothari and Dinesh Shamdasani on behalf of Valiant Entertainment, it was announced today by Hannah Minghella, president of production for Columbia Pictures. Jeff Wadlow will write the screenplay.
Bloodshot first appeared in Valiant comic books in 1992 and quickly became one of the comic worlds most popular characters. Appearing in over 70 issues, the character sold seven million comic books globally and was a cornerstone of the Valiant Universe, which sold more than 80 million comic books, third only to Marvel and DC. As Valiant re-launches in 2012, the Bloodshot character will return to shelves as well.
Commenting on the announcement, Minghella said, The Bloodshot character has been a fan favorite for nearly two decades, selling approximately 7 million comic books globally. Because there have been more than 1,500 pages of storylines published, there is a rich legacy to draw from as we develop the screenplay. Neal is one of the best action producers working today and we know he is the right filmmaker to take on this potential franchise.
Originally founded in 1989, Valiant Comics quickly became one of the most successful comic book publishers by creating unique and compelling heroes and villains and focusing on storytelling. Valiant characters have been written and illustrated by many of the industrys most famous creative talents, including Jim Shooter, Bob Layton, Barry Windsor Smith, Joe Quesada, Jim Lee, Frank Miller, Garth Ennis, Warren Ellis, Bryan Hitch, Steve Ditko, Mike Mignola, Kevin VanHook, Don Perlin and Neal Adams, among many others; in addition, Valiant was previously named Publisher of the Year by Diamond Comics Distributors. Valiant is returning to comic books in May 2012 and has a number of movie projects in development based on its characters involving some of the industrys top business and creative talent.
Neal Moritz and Original Film are currently in post-production on four films: 21 Jump Street andTotal Recall for Columbia Pictures, R.I.P.D. for Universal, and Warner Bros.’ Jack the Giant Killer. He is entering pre-production on the sixth entry in the Fast and Furious franchise as well as onDead Man Down, starring Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace. With over 40 films to Moritzs credit, past titles include Battle: Los Angeles, The Green Hornet, The Fast and Furious series, I Am Legend, XXX, S.W.A.T., Gridiron Gang, Sweet Home Alabama, Click, Vantage Point, Blue Streak, Cruel Intentions, I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Skulls, Volcano, Urban Legend, and Juice. Original Films box office is north of 2 billion worldwide.