Comic book adaptations are a hot property right now, with more and more titles being snapped up for live-action film and TV series. While superheroes are still the most-adapted genre, more and more studios are picking up the rights to other genres of graphic novels for live-action (and even animated) projects. It’s a fantastic time to be a comic book fan!
Now, another comic book can be added to the list of properties making their way to the big screen – a lesser known series from 2004/2005, where magic and heroics combine with brutality and darkness in Brooklyn.
The Hollywood Reporter revealed today that Lionsgate will be taking on this interesting story of supernatural justice with an upcoming live-action adaptation of The Monolith. The film will be the directorial debut of Dave Wilson, with Erwin Stoff producing. The comic series starts when a young junkie, Alice, finds out that she has inherited a house in Brooklyn — with a Golem from the 1930s in the basement. Alice, the Golem (the Monolith) and roommate/ex-prostitute Tilt come together to tell a new story about justice and vengeance. Very dark at times, the series combines stories about Alice and Tilt’s struggles to create a better life for themselves with more classic superhero stuff: The Monolith taking down bad guys that range from demons to arsonists.
This isn’t new territory for Lionsgate, as the studio has been involved with multiple superhero movies in the past. Lionsgate has been involved with distribution for more adult-oriented superhero movies such as Kick-Ass, Dredd, and Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, as well as production for Punisher and Punisher: War Zone. This also won’t be too far out of the comfort zone for Dave Wilson — although this will be his first time in the director’s chair, he is the creative director of Blur Studios, the production company of Deadpool director Tim Miller. Erwin Stoff (The Matrix, Edge of Tomorrow) is also perfectly suited to the project.
The Monolith is a fascinating choice for a live-action adaptation, and has real potential to be absolutely phenomenal. The creative team that Lionsgate has started to build is well-suited to the subject matter, and it’s fantastic timing for a lesser-known comic book character to make an appearance. The darker tone of the comics and the more damaged characters should do well with audiences – if the successes of Deadpool, Daredevil and Jessica Jones are anything to go by – and this story taps into our fascination with magic and horror as well as superheroes.
However, The Monolith is not a well-known superhero, or a comic series that has gained cult status (like the recently-adapted Preacher). Lionsgate will have to create an exceptional marketing campaign to avoid this new adaptation being lost in a sea of superheroes, as the studio will not be able to rely on much of an existing fanbase to sell tickets. The series also has a very small central cast, so whoever takes on the three lead roles will essentially carry the movie — casting will be key for this project. Still, this could be an unexpected smash hit, and we’ll just have to wait and see how this latest superhero movie develops.
We’ll keep you updated on The Monolith as development continues.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter