Last year, whispers and murmurs were heard about a big-screen adaptation of graphic novel Lore, specifically regarding the name behind the helm. Initial announcements saw Men In Black series director Barry Sonnenfeld brought up as a potential candidate to steer the ship for Warner Bros; with Lore being described in terms of its similarity to the MIB yarns, the news made a respectable sort of sense, but apparently WB and Sonnenfeld have parted ways, opening up room for a new name to sign on as director.

That person happens to be David Green, fledgling filmmaker and the man behind upcoming low-budget, teen-oriented science fiction film Echo. While that picture – originally housed at Disney before being sold off to Relativity – won’t actually arrive in theaters until January of 2014, so this turn of events appears to spell good things for Green’s career path, since WB appears to have designs on making Lore into a new tentpole franchise.

As THR reports, Sonnenfeld and WB split up over budgetary concerns, which may provide a clue as to why the studio wound up tapping Green. There’s no present indicator as to Echo‘s artistic merit, but the numbers don’t lie; Green allegedly made the film on a ballpark budget of $5 million, which amounts to peanuts in the world of Hollywood features. Whether that’s the only quality about his work that attracted WB to him in the first place remains unseen, at least for the moment, but money certainly does talk, especially for niche genre movies.

Lore, first published back in 2003, imagines a world where monsters once roamed freely before being corralled and held at bay by the secret society of Shepherds. In the present, the Shepherds’ line of succession breaks, and a reluctant heroine finds herself taking up the burden of keeping these creatures from reintroducing themselves to mankind. Sounds closer to a Hellboy – and its off-shoot title, BPRD – than a Men In Black, but the comparisons are understandable.

So what does all of this mean for Lore‘s production fate? Sonnenfeld’s a gifted director, no doubt, but there’s a question as to whether the more playful flourishes he brings to films like the Men In Black trilogy – notably the recent and surprisingly successful Men In Black 3 – would jive well with Lore‘s dark fantasy bent and artist Ashley Wood’s stunning, expressive painting style. Maybe Green poses a better overall fit for the material, or maybe he just knows how to work on the cheap. Echo will serve as a strong sign one way or the other, but in the meantime fans can only wonder about the possibilities of a Lore movie.

Little else regarding the project is known besides the involvement of Green, screenwriters Jeremy Lott and Cory Goodman (Priest), and Dwayne Johnson, who is tentatively set to star. Johnson, apparently deciding that five films in one release year is no big deal, already has his schedule fit to burst for the next couple of years, with shooting for Brett Ratner’s impending Hercules movie well underway, a return in Fast & Furious 7 as well as his own possible spin-off, coupled with an HBO series produced by Pain & Gain co-star Mark Wahlberg, and perhaps – perhaps – a role in Terminator 5. (And that’s just scratching the surface.)

Until Echo opens, we may not hear much else about Lore‘s development. We’ll see what other updates come down the road for Lore, and we’ll report on them as soon as they become available.

Echo arrives in theaters January 10th, 2014.

Source: THR