Comic book writer Mark Millar has worked for both Marvel and DC, but it’s his original comic book series that have really seen success when it comes to getting picked up for big screen adaptations. Wanted, Kick-Ass and The Secret Service have all been turned into films already (Kingsman: The Secret Service is set for release next year), and Superior, Nemesis and Starlight are all currently in various stages of development at Twentieth Century Fox.
The rights to a Starlight movie were picked up by Fox late last year, with X-Men: Days of Future Past screenwriter Simon Kinberg set to produce. The most recent issue of the comic book, Starlight #5, hit shelves in August and the plot centers on a former space hero called Duke McQueen, who saved the universe and then returned to his home planet, Earth. Forty years later Duke has settled down, with grown-up children and a wife who has passed away, and no one believes any of his crazy stories about space adventures. Then one day he gets a call from a distant world, asking him to come back for one final adventure.
Kinberg, who also scripted the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot and is working on X-Men: Apocalypse, will apparently be limiting himself to a producer role for Starlight, since THR reports that screenwriter and video game designer Gary Whitta has now signed on to adapt Millar’s comic book for the screen. Whitta co-wrote the script for M. Night Shyamalan’s Will Smith/Jaden Smith vehicle After Earth, and has also been hired to write the screenplay for an upcoming Star Wars standalone movie, which will be directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla).
Among gamers Whitta is best known for writing the critically-acclaimed “choice and consequence” series The Walking Dead, based on the comics by Robert Kirkman. Although the video game is only set in the same universe as the comics and follows a different group of characters, it’s encouraging that Whitta has experience adapting a comic book world into another medium.
Whitta’s previous projects have consistently been set in post-apocalyptic/post-civilization worlds (he also wrote the screenplay for The Book of Eli, starring Denzel Washington), and he has a talent for writing character-driven stories. He’s a solid choice for Starlight, though since the film is still in the early development stages it’s unclear how long it will be before we get to see it in theaters. There’s always a danger that it will get stuck in development hell, but since superhero (and space hero) movies are popular right now, Fox may decide to make Starlight a priority.
Is this the Millar comic that you’re most hoping to see adapted into the movie, or are you more interested in Superior and Nemesis? Tell us in the comments what you think of Fox’s choice of screenwriter.
We’ll keep you updated on Starlight as development continues.