One of the oldest sayings out there is “If you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself.” Director James Wan seems to have taken this heart, having just signed a deal with FOX to adapt his own 2011 comic book Malignant Man for the big screen.
According to Deadline, Wan is personally overseeing the development of the adaptation, and is likely to direct it himself as well.
Malignant Man – a four-issue comic series – revolves around Alan Gates, a cancer patient who is told that his illness is untreatable and inoperable. Just when Alan begins to come to terms with the fact that his life will soon be over, he makes a shocking discovery. It turns out that his tumorous growth is not in fact cancer, but rather a mysterious alien parasite that has taken up residence under Alan’s skin.
Along with the growing parasite comes various supernatural powers that grant Alan a new lease on what he thought was a doomed life. Alan’s newfound abilities show up at just the right time, as he soon becomes the target of a malevolent army secretly living beneath society’s skin. Along the way, Alan uncovers more secrets about both his long-buried past and his connection to the parasite that now calls him home.
Malignant Man will chart fairly new territory for Wan the filmmaker, as up until now his work (Insidious, The Conjuring) has been almost all comfortably within the horror genre. While aspects of Malignant Man could be said to fall under the horror umbrella, the overall plot seems much more sci-fi than anything else, with a dash of superhero tropes thrown in as well.
The idea of Alan battling a unseen alien cabal operating inside society itself clearly recalls the cult classic John Carpenter flick They Live. The theme of one man against the world was also present – on a much smaller scale – in Wan’s 2007 revenge drama Death Sentence. Wan is not currently attached to any other upcoming films, so one would assume that Malignant Man will be next on his directorial plate following the completion of blockbuster sequel Fast & Furious 7.
Many horror fans found themselves disappointed when Wan made it known that Insidious 2 would be his last horror effort as a director. However, it’s possible that stepping behind the camera on Malignant Man will reignite Wan’s love of the supernatural and the macabre. Then again, if the project fails, longtime Wan fans may have to make do with him helming Fast & Furious 8, 9 and 10.
The Malignant Man film adaptation is in development and has no current release date.