Marvel boasts a library of 4700 characters, all ripe for development in other media. The latest proof of this is found in today's Variety which reports that Marvel CEO Avi Arad is in final negotiations with Columbia Pictures for a movie version of "The Gargoyle."
Jonathan Hales, who wrote the screenplay for "Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones" and "The Scorpion King" will pen a script for the film, which sounds like it won't adhere very closely to the comic book roots.
The Gargoyle character was first introduced in "Defenders" #94. In the comics, the character is a human named Isaac Christians who makes a Faustian pact that traps him in the body centuries old Gargoyle. The character went on to top line a four-issue mini-series by J.M. DeMatteis and Mark Badger. Most recently he appeared as a narrator in the "Universe X" series.
However, Hales told Variety that his script has "actually very little connection" to those comics. Instead the writer described his script as "a mother/son tale" about a young, imaginative boy who spends much of his free time talking to a gargoyle statue on top of his apartment building. This gargoyle comes to life when a 100-year-old curse is lifted, and it begins a hunt for the talisman that will return it to permanent flesh-and-blood form.
Hales is reportedly bringing in middle-six figures against low-seven figures for his work. Arad will produce the picture with another Sony-based producer.
Top Cow Productions has been ramping up as a multi-media company for several years now, developing properties in the television, film and video game arenas. The next logical step for the company would seem to be animation.
Indeed, Top Cow announced yesterday that they'll be launching a new corporate division in August, focusing on animation.
First order of business, however, is an "animated" style comic for their flagship character "Witchblade." Paul Dini (creative genius behind "Batman: The Animated Series" and many of the cool DC Comics adaptations) is writing the comic. Darwyn Cooke ("Catwoman") will be be heading up the art team on the book.
"I'm thrilled to be doing this and itąll be fun to put my own little bit of a spin on the characters," Dini said. "I promise it'll be fun, it'll be dangerous, and there will be lot of surprises."
The book will bow at Wizard World Chicago in August.
Also part of the initiative is a new toy line from Palisades Toys featuring Witchblade, Magdalena and The Darkness. The 4 .5-inch scale figures will come blister carded and will have a suggested retail of $10 each.
THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN
A novelization of "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" is set to go on sale to coincide with the movie's release according to the recently published Pocket Star Books catalog from Simon and Schuster/Pocket Books.
The book is authored by K.J. Anderson who is known for similarly themed period heroic fantasies like his novel "Captain Nemo" and the upcoming "Mr. Wells and the Martians," as well as novels based on pre-existing concepts like "Star Trek," "Star Wars" and "Buffy."
Here's the description of the novel: "London, 1899. As the British Empire lies in mortal jeopardy, a top-secret initiative unites several of the most illustrious (and sometimes infamous) personages of the age: Allan Quatermain, famed explorer and adventurer; Captain Nemo, master of the undersea submersible Nautilus; Dr. Henry Jekyll, and his brutish alter ego, Mr. Hyde; Rodney Skinner, the Invisible Man; Dorian Gray, the ageless subject of a diabolical portrait; Mina Harker, surviving victim of the late Count Dracula; and a scrappy American secret agent named Tom Sawyer. When a criminal mastermind known only as 'The Fantom' plots to hurl the world into war, they must race across the globe to foil the masked madman's insidious scheme. But they may not have reckoned with the traitor in their midstâ€¦."
The 288-page paperback book is due in stores July 1st, 2003. It carries a suggested price of $6.99.
Thanks to IGN FilmForce for the lead.