It's been no secret that the long term plan for Valiant Entertainment has been to emulate the licensing and film success seen over the past decade by Marvel Comics. But today, the upstart publisher took a step closer to Marvel Studios territory than many would have predicted.
Variety reports that the rights to Valiant's "Harbinger" series -- which had been optioned by Paramount in 2008 -- have returned to the company, and Valiant is moving forward on the film without studio involvement. Apparently, a new screenplay draft has been commissioned by "Texas Chainsaw 3D" writer Stephen Susco with hopes of keeping director Brett Ratner involved. Variety notes that complications in the wake of a Fox/Warner Bros. lawsuit over "Watchmen" kept "Harbinger" from bowing with the "X-Men: The Last Stand" director at the helm.
The move is a proactive one from Valiant who have already been pressing forward with more broad licenses for their characters such as sponsoring the U.S. luge team for the 2014 Winter Olympics. And while the company is unlikely to finance an entire blockbuster action movie on its own, drafting a screenplay without studio involvement is the first step towards a more independent media slate a-la Marvel's building of Marvel Studios.
Whether this version of "Harbinger" will make it to the big screen is a question whose answer is far off. Stay tuned to CBR News for more on this story as it develops.