To hear J. Michael Straczynski tell it, Valiant Comics is looking to get in on the action currently dominated by Marvel and D.C. by developing their own Valiant Cinematic Movie Universe. Which actually sounds pretty good. Hell, I wouldn’t mind seeing a “Solar” movie myself.
Straczynski is of course most famous for plotting the 5-year run of the sci-fi show “Babylon 5”, but in recent years has made a name for himself as a movie screenwriter (along with a healthy amount of script doctoring work). He’s also the current screenwriter on record for Valiant’s “Shadowman”, one of the company’s ongoing stabs at a movie based on one of their comic books (along with “Harbinger” and “Bloodshot”).
Talking with MTV, Straczynski revealed how he became involved in adapting “Shadowman”, and his current approach to the task:
They approached me last year and said, ‘We want to do a feature film of this character. Will you write it for us?’ And I said, ‘Absolutely,’ because A, I like jazz, B, I like the supernatural, and there’s a really cool mix between those two, not just in terms of the usual New Orleans, Voodoo environment, but what is music but incantation of sorts?… We had talked about the difference between the ‘Shadowman’ movie and the ‘Shadowman’ comic, and the good thing is that the folks involved understand that there’s a difference between a movie and a comic book. There were times when they said, ‘We’re doing this in the book, does it work for you in the movie?’ Some things did work and we’re going to carry them over, and some things did not and I said, ‘We have to leave that out.’
He goes on to reveal that Valiant is considering “a larger cinematic universe for its characters”, similar to what Marvel and D.C. are doing with their studio partners, Disney and Warner, respectively. Of course, how that goes will depend almost entirely on how “Shadowman”, “Harbinger”, and “Bloodshot” perform at the box office, especially since most non-comic book readers have never even heard of them.
If all goes well, Straczynski is expected to turn in his draft of “Shadowman” sometime the Fall for, hopefully, a 2014 production start.